Belmont, South Africa
January 22, 1900
To the Brethren of S.O.S 1247
I do not know how to thank the number of old 1247 for their kindness to me and I am not going to try because I cannot find words to express my feelings but this I will try and do and that is to try and be worthy of the dependence you put in me for our God, Country and our Queen, will try and always be ready when and where duty calls I know already what the roar of artillery and the crack of maxims and small arms means and the flash of the bayonet that is one thing the foe cannot stand that is the bayonet we have no mean enemy to fight not only the enemy but the country is naturally a hard place to carry on a war natural defence Kopjes then a veldt a regular desert as far up as Modder river & when the wind blows you cannot see for sand otherwise it is very healthy I know I never enjoyed much better health but we have no time to get sick.
I expect we will have some more fun before long when you get the order to fall in line in extended order with ten rounds in your rifle you feel kind of queer but that feeling soon wears off and you feel strong as paddy says as if you were half full you would be surprised what a humane being can stand as to marches fatigues hunger and the want of water & heat. We expect to march across to Bloomfontine a march of 90 miles to take part in that scrap my place to get out of the sand and dirt. I know what guard patrol & Outpost duty in earnest again I get home & you bet I am coming home too I dont intend taking up quarters in this country I am not going to try and describe the war for you will know more about it than I do as we hardly see a paper or a scrap of anything to read and when there does there are twenty applicants for one half Well you tell the boys if from me if I fall it will be with my face to the fore fighting for freedom and old glory give my best wishes to all the boys tell them I cannot express my feelings, but I will do my best for old 1247 god helping me tell the boys I cannot use any big words so goodbye to all with best wishes to all
Brother Noble Jones