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The Fernhurst Society

Tales from the Archives - 10

Gunner Smooker's Christmas

Gunner Henry Smooker of 99 Company, RGA, writes home to his family from Fort Madalena, Malta, December 1915:

Glad to say Iím feeling jolly fine, this climate suits me down to the ground now. We are on a cliff right on the sea front. We can see Sicily on a clear day, about 60 miles away, and Mount Etna. Another interesting spot here is St Paulís Bay, where St Paul was said to have been shipwrecked. There is a big marble statue to him. However, I would sooner be back in old England again in spite of the cold and mud, for you want to be out of it to appreciate it properly.

We had a very pleasant Christmas here. We had dinner out of doors, plenty of everything. We had Christmas wishes from the King and Queen, Lord Methuen, the Governor and all the other companies on the island. Our old Major made a speech complimenting up on our shooting at battle practice saying we made the best shoot on the island, and again upheld the honour of 99 Company as being the finest Company on the island. He afterwards drank our health. He said no doubt that we should be called on to go to France or the Dardanelles and that we should still keep 99 Companyís name up as a first class service Company. You should have heard us cheer him and our other officers. Afterwards we had a smoking concert, and very nice too.

If you would like to know more about this story, or research other local topics, the Archive is open on Tuesdays, 2.30-5pm in the Village Hall. Other times by arrangement.

Christine Maynard
Fernhurst Archive

One of a series of short articles bringing you some of the incidents from our rich village history. Collated by Christine Maynard, based on documents preserved at the Fernhurst Archives, these originally were published in the monthly Fernhurst News.

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