Somewhere in France
Friday Feb 16th 1916
Two 161 Boys wounded this time in (Percy Gliddon) Clinton Arva Brokenshire (Exeter) Both in legs,feet. shrapnel.
Mrs H. Johns
Dear Mother:- I received your letter your letter Written on Jan 21st about a week ago but did not have time to answer it. have been very busy. since up untill last night I got about 3 or 4 hours sleep out of 24 for the preceeding week so did not feel like writing. We are not in the trenches at present and hope to be out for some time(3 weeks) for a rest. From Wed. night 9pm up to to-day at noon we have marched about 20 miles or (28 Killemeters) my feet are in bad shape I am like an old man but they will soon be well again there is lots more like me. The mail has not got up to our billetts yet. We are in a private house up in the attic up 2 flight of stairs. There is about 20 of us up here. It is a nice little town in the coal mining district and also a railroad centre. our only windows is in the roof no glass in it either. I just had my shirt off catching some crawlers I got about 50 of them. I saw Jackson yesterday he has not joined us yet he has sore eyes. but is well otherwise I think he said he had a box from you or a letter I don't know which. I got a letter from W. Veal the other day. he is well . they have been moved several times I think they are in Whitley Camp. He talked as if they expected to keep the 161 Battn as a unit but I don't see how they can. When we were up the line you should have heard us say how much we were going to eat when we got out well we sure are going to keep our word.
We started in last night 4 eggs each with chips(potatoes) bread. coffee. We bought a tin of jam. biscuits. to-day we got all we could eat from the army issue.
Prices are certainly high over there it must cost something to live there now. Us soldiers cannot buy bread by the loaf here so it must be getting scarce. I guess by the time this letter gets home you people will be looking for spring. Well I don't think it is far away in this country at present time as the weather is milder these last few days it will soon be mud, mud I had a wash and shave this evening. I think its about 5 times in 35 days. pretty good don't you think. by the way I forgot to shave my upper lip all that time Will have a very good one in a short time. Its just a small one just half way down each side Charlie Chaplin stile you know. I suppose Uncle Charlie has changed since you last saw him It was nice to have him over again Well I hope this findes you all well Addie and family included I guess I will close as I am sleepy.
With love From Earl.