World War II letters and cards, Howard Kippenberger

My dear Jim [Western ?] : Image 2 of 7

Image of My dear Jim [Western ?] 7/12/40

  • Title My dear Jim [Western ?]
  • Creator Howard Kippenberger
  • Date 7/12/40
  • Image 2 of 7
  • Notes Letter summary: 752/6. 7 Dec 1940. Letter to Jim from desert; tells of leave in Cairo getting lost on the return trip; arrival of letters and how while some are having less arrive he is still getting plenty. Details of races in Cairo and how they don't seem completely honest. Did an attack under "a nice barrage of line gave me a queer nostalgic feeling for old forgotten times". Had call to supply another platoon, illustrates the decision that has to be made as to which one. Hoping to be relieved at Xmas for some divisional training and a vacation. Problem when two senior majors taken jobs at base camp. Details of staff changes and mention of one or two being a bit slack. Tells of sickness and crime being slack even after one soldier returns from 84 days detention. Details of how he had to issue detentions even though minor. Men are well fed & clothed. Tells of new arrivals "are trained but there is an immense difference between them & the old hands." Censoring letter tells how in doing so he came across a letter from a soldier to his girlfriend telling how he had saved his water rations so he could have a bath. Sunday went to church. Camp is comfortable; details of dug outs and how weather conditions are affecting them. Has been playing chess quite a bit. A soldier managed to get drunk and end up at a friend's camp, got back to his own very sheepish. Telling of combat and how they had been expecting a desperate fight and a defensive position but how that had changed. Details of how they are twiddling their thumbs waiting to hear. Tuesday: News that the Corps are to be used as reserves, frustration at having to wait especially after training with tanks, thought there must be some good reason. "Only consolation it that the Aussies aren't in it either". Talks of weather and how it could hold up the advance as can only see about 50 yards. Details Xmas plans for the men and how a great spread has been arranged. Not on good humour due to his men still being on Guard. Wishes good luck for the voyage. Tells of "bonny birds" in the desert.
  • Source Archive 752
  • Parent Collection World War II letters and cards, 1940-1945.
  • Parent Collection Description Howard Karl Kippenberger (1897-1957) was born in Ladbrooks, south of Christchurch. In 1916 he served at the Somme, where he was wounded and discharged. He trained as a lawyer, practising in Rangiora. In 1922 he married Ruth Isabel Flynn in Lyttelton. In 1939 at the outbreak of war he was given command of the 20th Canterbury/Otago Battalion. As these letters show, he served in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, rising to the rank of Major General. In Italy he stood on a land mine, losing both his feet. He became an administrator, in charge of the relocation of prisoners of war. Back home in New Zealand after the war he was appointed Editor-in-chief of the War History Branch of the Department of Internal Affairs. Service numbers: WWI 11682, WWII 7128.
  • Collection Location ANZC Archives
  • File Reference CCL-C81111945-020

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