6 August 1917; Monday

Up at about 7 o’clock. Kept busy all day. Off in the afternoon and went to the Church Army reading room and read two short stories from a magazine. On duty at night and did some French. Lay awake and talked to Freddie about churches and festivals of the church year.

Rumours of the Division going out and of the ambulance moving.

Although the diary is silent on the matter, 6th August 1917 was the day on which ALL’s Sheffield barracks friend, Ralph Kenyon Sandwith, was killed in action near Kemmel in Belgium.

The images here are of a postcard sized portrait of RKS which exists in ALL’s collection. The front is signed “Ralph K. Sandwith” and the back has an address in Louth, RKS’ home address presumably written by RKS himself, and a note in ALL’s hand about the date of the photograph (1915) and the circumstances of Sandwith’s death (at Kemmel in 1917). Private Sandwith was about 21 years old at the time of his death, and 19 years old at the time of the photograph.

See also all diary entries tagged “Sandwith” and Ralph Kenyon Sandwith at Lives of the First World War.

Autographed portrait of Ralph K. Sandwith from ALL’s archive.
Postcard bearing autographed portrait of Ralph K. Sandwith from ALL’s archive.
Reverse of postcard
Reverse side of postcard with the handwritten text “88 Upgate, Louth, Lincs” (right) presumably written by Sandwith himself – his home address – and “1915 – Killed at Kemmel 1917” (left), apparently written by ALL.