H08165 — Lieut. Whiteman, 1915

Box 40


Image 2: Letter from Lieut Whiteman

Image 3: Letter from Lieut Whiteman — envelope showing postmark


‘The Bundle of Letters’ — Tom Reeves, 4th Generation Photographer at Edward Reeves Photography.

Audio transcript at bottom of page


Lieutenant Bernard Whiteman of the 5th (Cinque Ports) Battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment wrote from a trench in northern France to Mr Reeves, (Christmas 1915) to order 12 copies of this photo. Lieutenant Whiteman won the Military Cross at the Somme and became the Battalion’s commanding officer after the war. He returned to his job at Barclays Bank in Lewes, rising to become the manager of the branch at 64 High Street.


“As often happens, whilst looking for something else at home we came across a bundle of letters received by my grandfather Ben Reeves, during the period of the 1st World War and kept probably because they were from friends or relatives or neighbours. Amongst these letters was one from a Bernard Whiteman who was a near neighbour, and in his letter dated the 17th of December 1915 and post marked 19th December he wrote from the British Expeditionary Force in France:


Dear Mr Reeves,


Postcards received today, please send me out 12 more cards with photo taken with cap on as soon as possible. Also please let me know how much I owe you for the photos had both by myself and my people and I will send on a cheque for the same.

Rain, mud and shells daily, wishing you the compliments of the season.


Yours Truly,


B. Whiteman,


5th Cinque Port Battalion,

Royal Sussex Regiment.


Now we’ve been able to trace the photograph that Whiteman ordered and reproduce it on the light box, and we also know that Whiteman survived the war and latterly became the Manager of Barclays Bank in Lewes.”