Thursday 23 May, 1918
A Barn, a Village
On Active Service
WITH THE BRITISH
Letter No 19
My dear little Mig the Nig¹,
As you know I was ever so pleased to get your kind and interesting letter, dated Wednesday 15th May. So you are going to learn Latin; well, that will be very useful if you decide to become a dentist, a doctor or a chemist. I hope Uncle Archie will be fortunate to have several months in "Blighty"; but he will be very lucky if he manages to dodge "draft" for any length of time. Thank Bimbo very much for the list of names; he has done them very neatly and they will be quite useful. I am afraid that I shall not be able to send you any stamps; I never see any here.
I said in my letter to mother yesterday that I would tell you all about our sports which took place yesterday afternoon. First of all we had some of the flat races - 100 yards, 220 yards, ¼ ,½ mile and the mile. It was very hot and this made the running rather irksome, altho' some of the chaps sprinted very well. The high jump was interesting and exciting to watch but the jumping wasn't very high as the competitors who had not got shoes were rather handicapped because they had to jump in socks. The competition that proved most amusing was the pillow fights by chaps sitting astride a pole over a tarpaulin full of water. The loser who was knocked off the pole (a sketch of the poles and fighters) had a good dousing in the cold water. I entered my name for the long jump but the Lewis Gun competition was to take place at the same time so that I couldn't compete. The Lewis Gun competition was exciting. There were five or six teams and they had to put the gun (which had been taken to pieces) together and fire a blank cartridge to make sure they had put the gun together properly. Our team was the second to assemble the gun but Stuart got the blank round the [?] so that the gun didn't fire. The signalers then had a race of their own in which the runner had to take a message to the sender about 100 yards away and the letter had to signal the message back again. Several [?] were competing but the two C.S.N. teams came 1st and 2nd. Then followed a tug of war; Gunners v Signalers and after a good fight the former won. The afternoon finished up with the obstacle race, after we had refreshed ourselves with some tea. I was one of the competitors but I didn't win as I couldn't manage to crawl through a sack that was secured to the ground. At one part they had to carry a bowl full of water on their heads and of course a lot of it spilled over them, so I was glad that I didn't finish the race when I saw their sorry plight. The sky was now quite overcast and the rumble of thunder in the distance warned us of a coming storm. The rain started before I got back to the barn and consequently I got a bit wet; but that didn't matter as I am quite used to being out in all weathers now.
I have just received 7 letters and am greatly joyed. All your letters have turned up so that there will be no need for the new list. Your letter dated May 18th more or less repeats your first letter and I have answered that. You will soon get used to me being away and it will be ever so much nicer when I do come home, won't it? Now I will turn my attention to "No 3". I hope you had a good time at Aunty Jessie's and were able to go in Hadley Woods. They are just like the woods round about here; perhaps they are not so large or thick, though. I don't think I heard Dr. Alfred Rowland, but if I remember rightly I heard Rev. E. Shekit; he is a man with ginger hair, I believe. Tell Flo she doesn't send her really best love; she is saving that for some other "Old Bill". I'm sorry to hear that the kitten isn't very well. If it dies I shall have to get special leave to come home for the funeral service, shan't I?
I won't forget to say my prayers and don't want you to either because if you do you won't grow up a good boy and that would be horrid.
Thank you very much indeed for all the kisses; if you send them by the billion I shall have no room in my pack for anything else. As for the "Blighty one", that remains to be seen. Good bye, Saucy,
With lots of love and xxxxx from
¹His youngest brother Walter