Introduction/Preface by Alan Feasey
When my cousin Bob sent me copies of all the letters and paperwork he had found when he was
clearing out his mother’s flat and I had read the letters written by my Grandfather Albert John
Feasey I was determined to trace where he was when he wrote them.
When I was growing up I was just told that your Grandfather had been killed in the First World War I
cannot even remember that I knew his name.
I visited the National Archives in Kew in 2005 to see if I could find the War Diaries of the 11
Brigade. I was handed a box of very flimsy papers but none of them covered the period of the letters
which was January to May 1918.
In April 2013 the Bedfordshire Family History Society arranged a social visit to Kew, the day did not
start very well as the winter snow came back. But in retrospect this was an advantage because there
were not many visitors at the Archives so after an initial period of wandering around I spoke to the
man on the Military help desk and explained what I wanted to find. He quickly went online and
informed me that the 11
Rifle Brigade Diaries were now available on line. After a short
introduction/training I was able to come away with about 10 x A3 Copies of pages from the diaries
including the ones that stated that Rifle A Feasey had been wounded in March 1918 and had died of
his wounds on the 25
May 1918. According to the diarist “Nothing of importance except shelling of
support reserve line” happened on the 25
When I got home I was able to download the 4 Pdf files containing over 800 pages for the princely
sum of £3.65 approx.
Now started the rather tortuous journey of transcribing the diaries with 2/3 fingers. I started from
May 1916 when AJF signed up and went through to December 1917 just before the first letter dated
January 1918. I found the diaries very absorbing and when I wanted further background
information then Google was there.
The diary is in 3 parts
1. The day to day events; 2. Casualties; 3 Operation orders
I have created separate files for these 3 parts. I have only completed the operation orders to April
1917 so far. But while I was typing up the diaries to December 1917 I was thinking of the best way to
present the War Diaries and to incorporate AJF Letters the following pages are the result
I now know a lot more about my Grandfather Albert his height(5’ 2”¾, weight 144lbs) obtained from
his army records the way he talks through his letters and his feeling being so far away from his wife
and “nips” that receiving and giving letters helped to survive long periods in that horrific event in
It was never my intention to publish the finished article but to circulate only to family and friends