14/6/18 Friday morning A cubby hole,
My dear mother and father,
I feel quite bucked this morning and for a very good reason. I have had a "bon" post. Dad's letter and testimonials dated 4th, Walter's letter dated 3rd, mother's letter dated 6th and letter from Luie, Mirrie and Uncle John. Thank you ever so much indeed for the letter from home and perhaps you could thank the others for their letters as I shall not be able to do so myself until more writing materials arrive. I am pleased to think you had all my letters up to the 30th ult; it is reassuring to know you are well informed of my doings. I am inclined to dad's view of the "coming storm" on the western front - chance of a "Blighty" perhaps. I am glad to think you agree with me that the RAF offers better prospects; I think that the four letters will carry weight when I apply. I am glad to hear of Uncle Geo's luck. I hope he will continue lucky until the end. Thank Cookie ever so much for typing those copies, it is very good of her, I will drop her a line when I get the chance. I was surprised to hear about Auntie Grace being up and sorry to learn the cause of her visit to London. I do wish I could see baby Harry; he must be a fine boy. I hope you had a good time at Southend; you could all do with the change; my only wish is that I shall soon join you on another trip there. I think it will be all the more enjoyable after what has happened since our last outing. You have guessed that I have just answered Dad's letter; now I turn to mother's:- you seem to have gained a wrong impression as to the manner in which I drew water from the wells. They are not fitted with pumps; just a bucket and rope which was wound round a drum. I am afraid that you are working too hard over the spring cleaning and I have a faint suspicion that mother has been worrying a bit so as to disturb her sleep. The parcels that are on the way will be very welcome as they contain such nice things. I hope one of them arrives soon; I should think it would. I expect you have had my letter acknowledging the turnovers sometime ago; they are the only pieces of pastry I shall see out here as it is unobtainable in shops, as you probably know. Fancy Grandma Fereday having a bath chair at last, I expect she feels that she is getting a good [?]. The weather which has [?] fine and now rather overcast and it looks like rain. I do hope that it won't rain before I am out on rest, which should be before you receive this letter.
The night before last was a bit more noisy than the previous one as there was a good deal of [?] battery and I could hear the shells soaring miles over head with a curious whistling, rushing sound like an express train and afterwards the dull thud of the explosion miles away over Fritz's line. The flashes of the guns quite lit up the sky in the distance. Of course there was plenty of noise but as one of our officers said, noise doesn't do any harm. I was a sentry about four and a half hours during that night and find it rather cool work. I could do with my overcoat but there were no orders to the effect that we must wear them so I left mine behind. I manage to keep warm when sleeping in the cubby hole. About one o'clock a machine gun barrage was put up somewhere or other and you should have heard the racket they made. It reminded me of hailstorm of a particular bad kind. I spent the day very much as before. Washed and cleaned up and wrote before dinner and in the afternoon had a "kip" (i.e. a sleep) in Stuart's dugout. In the evening at about 7 o'clock I had to go in a working party but I will you more about that tomorrow.
I have heard the sad news concerning Billy Rose, through Loui Soutter. I was very surprised and upset to think that he has been taken away.
Now I must say au revoir,
With fondest love
from your very affectionate son