Saturday Eve As usual
1 June, 1918 Sunny France
My dearest mother,
Can you realise that I have been out here just a month? I landed over here at 2.30pm on Saturday four weeks ago. In a way it seems as if I have been out here ages because I have been unable to see you, but in another way, although I have done quite a lot in the meanwhile it seems but a short while since I was at the base. I was hoping to get a letter from home today [?] arrived yesterday but I have been disappointed - all the more when it does [?], I suppose.
Saturday usually figures in our program of training as route march day. Consequently reveille was at 5am, breakfast 5.30 and parade 6.20, just one hour earlier than usual. Stuart and I were the "onions" today, being mess orderlies, as we had to be up sharp to get the grub from the cookhouse in time. After breakfast we cleaned up the dishes under much the same conditions as when I was last [?] filled them with water from the tank. There was a fatigue party [?] from A Coy so one of the corporals put us on it as we were too late for the route march. This was rather considerate of him as we should certainly have been in a predicament otherwise. This party paraded at 8 o/c outside the QM store and we marched down to the training round - which I described yesterday- with some sand bags and sacks. Our job was to rig up and repair some of the [?] on the Bayonet Assault Course; you will remember that they are like from what you saw at Wimbledon. I had to sew a dummy head on one of the sacks; I'm afraid it didn't look very realistic; no doubt a few dabs of paint will improve matters.
After dinner the fun started again - the mess orderly stunt - we cleaned out the [?]. as well as we could with some long grass and went to the tank to fill them but found to our dismay that it was empty. The only other alternative was to get the water from the well near by the cook house. I should just think this place is the limit for deep wells; for the beastly thing we had to get our water from is about 150 to 200 feet deep, judging by the number of turns of the handle. It took us three quarters of an hour to fill the [?] but we didn't mind much as we had little else to do. The remainder of the afternoon until tea time I spent in finishing a letter to Mr. Waller and one to Isa. The latter is going to send me a book of [?] I enjoy some poems which will be quite enjoyable. I am afraid that I shall have to leave you more or less to keep some of my more remote correspondents supplied with information of my doings, because later on it will be as much as I can do to write to you each day. [?] hope he [?] that I get the opportunity for a long time to come yet.
Since tea I have been sitting in a field writing this communiqué to you and now it is almost time to get the [?] for supper. It is surprising what a lot of time the mess orderly job takes. Fortunately I only get the job about once a fortnight.
I am trying to get a [?] so that I shall be able to tell you more about that interesting picture of the place. I hope you get all five pc's all right.
[?] you to the Quadrant but I can't [?] think of you during the Church Parade.
I do hope you are keeping well and cheerful and all the others to whom I send my love,
Au revoir until tomorrow,
with fondest love and xxxx from Dinkey