Wednesday Eve YMCA tent
5 June, 1918 A small village
Somewhere in France
My dear dad,
You will see by this letter that I have found my way to the YMCA tent I spoke of as being in the village near our training ground. It is situated in a very pretty spot on the slope of a hill and nearly surrounded by trees. As I look out of the side of the tent I have a full view of the tree surrounded meadow where we had our last church parade.
I have had quite a good day today; reveille was at 5.30 as usual, breakfast at 6 and parade at 8. A tank containing ablution water has now been provided so Stuart and I had the pleasure of a real good wash down. A welcome change after the joys of a "cat-lick" in a mess tin.
As nothing definite in the way of special training had been arranged we marched to our bathing place and had a fine swim. The sun was hot so this made the bathe all the more enjoyable; it was quite a treat to believe! I can now swim a long distance but have not yet accomplished the art of diving and floating; these will come in time I expect. We arrived back at noon and were then dismissed, leaving us free to do what we liked. All the afternoon I have been reading a book (with a "nap" or two in between). After tea Stuart and I strolled down here for the first time to make a change and also to get some grub. But in the latter respect we have been disappointed, as the old chap behind the counter says he has "nothing to eat". He is a humorous old bounder, for he confronts some hungry customers with the following: "Well, I've the fruit of industry" or "the bread of life" or "the milk of human kindness altho' the cow's nearly dried up" etc. - not much comfort to the seeker of the wherewithal to fill his "innards".
I should think that all the route marching I have done lately is preparing me for a fairly long "trek" when we do move - which rumour now has it will be [censored].
When I left the billet the post had not arrived so that I have no letter to answer; altho' now I come to think of it I don't think I sent a reply to your letter of the 21st ult. You mention that HGS is training for a commission; I would wish that I was doing the same but may be one of these days.
I do hope all is well at the office and that despite the depleted staff business is going well. I am dropping a line to Dalston tonight to let them know how I am getting on.
I don't think there is any more news to give you just now. I do hope that you see mother doesn't worry about me, for there is no need. You know best how to reassure her about my welfare. Give her my fondest love and also to the boys.
from your loving son,
PS Letters are taking a long while to reach me; I now understand that it is better to omit Div Wing. In future please address all letters as follows: Pte AHF, A Coy, 1/15 Batt. London Regt, BEF, France.
I should be glad if you would send me some envelopes from time to time as I am unable to get any here and I run out rather quickly.
PPS Please circulate my revised address whenever convenient