Still another place
11 June, 1918
Somewhere in France
My dear mother,
I did think when I arrived at the last camp on Saturday evening that I had reached my final destination for a week or so, but as you see I have had still another shift.
Yesterday morning I spent resting and getting my traps together again. I wrote to Stan and Mr .?. and also passed away a little of the time in having a game of cards. After dinner I moved off with full marching order and after a march of a few miles arrived at this village. The country is jolly fine round here, although it is fairly near the line, and the land is being cultivated just the same as if there was no war. I passed several small villages on the march, their presence among the trees being betrayed by grey church steeples standing up above them.
I am billeted in a barn which has been specially fitted up for the purpose of accommodating us. Bunks, similar ..??.. idea to those on board ship, have been constructed so that we sleep one above the other round the sides of the barn. There is of course no partition between the beds which consist of a wooden framework which supports fence wire and sacking on which one sleeps. The idea is alright from the point of view of economising space, but from any other view point I can't say I care much about my new abode. It was not fine enough for me to sleep outside last night as it had rained a little in the afternoon and the sky still looked rather threatening, but today the weather seems more settled and the sun is shining again. I shall possibly sleep outside tonight. I have had a good look round and found a fine place where several of us can sleep sheltered from rain and wind.
The village itself is of no .?. at all, just the usual ramshackle barns and cottages. The redeeming feature is the church and this seems the worse for the wear of the weather; but I have not really had a good look at it yet.
I slept peacefully last night, the gunfire is not at all loud here. There is more activity here than at most of the other places I have been to, but otherwise everything is much the same as usual.
I was ever so glad to get your letter of 3rd June - Monday - and to hear of the usual household activity and quiet walks on Sunday. Of course I wish I could be with you again - my happiness would then just be complete. But I am having a good time on the whole out here, despite all the tales I was told of France being an awful place. The hardships are greatly exaggerated at home and things aren't nearly so bad out here as you imagine at home. Even chaps who have had experience in the line say that it isn't half so bad up there as might be imagined; and after all the .?. of excitement, the novelty and the constant change of this life are factors which go a long way to make things enjoyable.
Now I have several jobs to do so that this hurried letter must be drawn to a close.
I received the Westminster Gazette from Mr. Waller last night. Jolly good wishes to all the others at home.
With fondest love from your devoted son,
PS. This is hardly necessary I think, but there is absolutely no cause for worry .?. if I am a bit nearer the line.