A Letter Home
Rubbish dumps are fascinating places – certainly to young children – and all sorts of treasures can be lurking in their depths. One such treasure, found by a 10 year old boy in Helensburgh, was a tiny envelope containing this letter. The writer and recipient were unknown to him, but the discovery of something so unusual was intriguing, so he kept it along with other prized possessions.
Some forty years later and now living in County Durham, he came across the letter and decided to return it to its 'home' by sending it to Helensburgh Library (Argyll and Bute Library Service).
The letter, written in pencil, is from Lance Corporal Lamont Coutts to his mother who lived at Ravenshaw in Helensburgh. It was written in 1915 when the soldier had been admitted to a field hospital in Le Touquet after his trench had been attacked.
After some research, we discovered that Lamont Coutts originally enlisted with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and then towards the end of the war, he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps, then the RAF as a pilot. He married in 1928 and emigrated to Canada.
Saturday, 15th May 1915
Just a line to let you know that I’m still getting on OK & that I’m still in the same hospital. It is a Canadian Hospital in Le Touque, & a very comfy place indeed. I don’t quite know the proper address of the place, but they tell me it’s not much use you writing to me here, for in all probability I’ll be shifted before a letter could reach me.
My arm was examined with the X-Ray this afternoon, but I haven’t heard yet what exactly is wrong. By the way, I believe I quite forgot to acknowledge the receipt of one of your parcels & father’s Thermos flask. I’m afraid I didn’t get much use out of that Thermos, for it was in dug-out with me. I never saw it again. As a matter of fact, I’ve lost everything I possessed except what I had in my tunic pockets, which is a pity for I had one or two things that I should like to have kept.
Well mother, I must stop now. With love to all at Ravenshaw & hoping this finds all well there, I remain
Your aff. Son