Private Blaber was a soldier in the 1st Battalion the Hampshire Regiment and was wounded at the Battle of the Somme on 1st July 1916. Very few accounts of this battle exist for the Hampshire Regiment as a total of 26 officers and 559 soldiers were either killed, wounded or missing and so there was no one to describe what had actually happened. The letter that Private Blaber wrote to his wife was therefore one of the few true accounts, written at the time that we have that describes the horrors of that momentous day.
The following is a transcript of his letter:
Little is sadly known of 8850 Private Bertie Cecil Hutchings apart from the fact that he served in B Company of the 1st Battalion The Hampshire Regiment in December 1914 near the village of Ploegsteert (known by soldiers as ‘Plugstreet Wood’).