Wed. 12 June, 1918
My dearest mother,
I have no doubt that by this time Mr. Waller has told you that I am in the line and I don't doubt that you felt a bit worried at the news. Well, I am in the reserve line of trenches where I am writing this note and by the time you get it, I shall in all probability be out of them for a rest. Fortunately this sector of the line is exceptionally quiet and we have scarcely been disturbed all night. I was ever so surprised to find things as they are; it seems that we do all the "strafing" and Jerry simply lies low. So let me reassure you that there is absolutely nothing to worry about; and I have made myself quite comfortable in these strange surroundings.
Now let me tell you what happened yesterday: the orders were for us to clean up and get our boots mended and hair cut ready for going up the line that evening. I spent the morning in this way and also wrote to you and to Mr. Waller; I also laid in a small supply of chocolate to take with me. After dinner Stuart and I had a bath in a small stream which ran at the back of our billet and then packed all our traps in readiness. All clothing etc that is not needed in the line I left behind in my pack which has been dumped.
I moved up the line in the evening just as our big guns began to "strafe" Jerry a bit. The country all the way right up to the line is fairly well wooded and is still green with crops and grass. This morning when I awoke from a short sleep the sun was shining and the birds singing; but for the occasional firing one would imagine that they were in camp in Blighty instead of in the trenches.
I slept last night in a "cubby hole" as it is called. It is a hole dug in the side of the trench big enough for a chap to lay properly in, the entrance to which is protected from the wind by a ground sheet pinned to the side. It is quite comfortable and I slept well as I was very tired.
Unfortunately Stuart has been put in another platoon to myself so that he is in another part of the trench; we can see each other, however, and as a matter of fact, we are both writing home together. We are going to try and get in the same platoon later on. My address is now Pte. A.H. Fereday 537441, B. Coy. 1/15 Batt, London Reg. BEF, France.
I have had very few letters lately and can't quite make out how it is; but this last move will delay them considerably so I must be patient for a while.
Now I must say goodbye for a little while. May God's blessing be given us all that everything will happen for the best.
With fondest love
from your devoted son
PS. I should like a few periodicals sent me from time to time to read. I get quite a good deal of time for reading, but cannot carry any books in the line with me.