Data package gwa-2489
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Photograph of Private Sid. G. Hedges|
CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0)|
January 01 1916, 07:16 PM|
December 05 2011, 10:28 AM
My grandfather, author and preacher, Sidney George Hedges (born Bicester Oxon 1897), was a live-in apprentice draper at Hyde Park House, Edgeware Road, London at the start of the War.
Recollection of his wife Mary Hedges: "He was talked into being a Conscientious Objector by the church he was attending. Silly man! He then told the Application Board he was 18 when in fact he was only 17½ so he could get into the Medical Corps. He was sent to Valetta (Malta) where he was horrified by carrying corpses, by the mad screams of 18 year olds who had been gassed, and by the streets of prostitutes deliberately set up for the soldiers."
He had tunnel vision so probably would not have been accepted for front-line service anyway.
Undated letter from his father in Bicester reacting to news of Sid's enlisting:
We were very much pained indeed on receiving your letter this morning.
We were glad to think not decided hurriedly and had made it a matter for prayer.
His will you know always to do this at all times especially when we need guidance.
We would that you took the right course. But you know there are several things
to be seriously considered. The war is on us now and I suppose the only way to
stop it is to continue fighting and killing until the Enemy is extinguished or almost so.
Now this you know is opposed to all the principles in which we have been
taught and ?haiwedl [?raised]. It is best for you now and had hoped you would soon
be more independent and making headway now there is such splendid
opportunities. We cannot all go and throw everything up. You say of course
ASC and not being the country you know of course once you join you
are at your country's service and have to go where sent and exposed as much as in
the fighting lines. I think it is a great anxiety to us and when we think of Ron
and Uncle Fred it is a heavy trial to give you up to we know not what and would
prefer much you should not volunteer but stay and do your duty in the sphere found for
the present at least till you are free from your term of service. Mother concurs in all
and does hope sincerely. Glad you are anxious to do something but pray do
not go for the present.
Your affectionate father,
The Great War Archive, University of Oxford / Primary Contributor|
Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford|
December 05 2011, 10:28 AM|
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