Saturday morning The trenches
15 June, 1918 42 France
My dearest mother,
I have not had any post today so that perhaps I have a treat in store for tomorrow. I promised in my last letter to tell you a little about the working party I was in two nights ago:- well, I had to clear part of the parapet of a [?] trench and started work in the early part of the evening; but the working party was spotted by one of Frtiz's [?] not under [?] form the line. [?] machine guns bullets wizzed over and it was decided to discontinue the work until dark. Accordingly we started again in the dark, but old Fritz evidently guessed that we would be commenced again and he again started to pepper us. Fortunately the bullets went well over us as the work had to be got on with. Later he tried to frighten us with a few shells from which we took cover in the trenches but the work was not long suspended. I was glad when it was time to go back as I was utterly tired out with digging to say nothing of mental fatigue and I had no slight attack of diarrhea too. I slept like a top until breakfast time. The morning, yesterday, I spent in doing a few odd jobs such as cleaning my rifle and sweeping the bottom of the trench (rather a ridiculous thing to do, you'll say). There was not enough water for me to have a wash, but that did not matter very much. I wrote to you and dad in reply to your letter and by this time dinner was ready. In the afternoon I had my sleep as usual with Stuart and we discussed our chances of getting into the RAF. I wonder whether Major Earkney (?) will be able to do anything?
In the early part of last evening we were relieved [?] a line of trenches further back still. The accommodation is not quite as good as the other place; at present I am in a fairly large "cubby hole" with two corporals and we shall [?] make the [?] comfortable. I expect to be here for a few days only and then I am going right back for a rest. You will say I am a fine one talking about going out for a rest when I have only been in for three days but of course things get a bit monotonous and I can't get much exercise, that a change, whenever it comes, is always welcome.
During the time that I have been up here I have felt all the while that you have been praying for me. You have no idea how comforting this thought is as it helps me to carry on cheerfully in all circumstances knowing that all will be well. It rained a little last night towards dawn but happily it is nice and fine [?] today. I can tell you that I welcome the sunshine as it makes things much more pleasant. The birds are singing overhead and as I look around over the green fields and trees I feel how very out of place all this fighting is. Let us pray that this sheer madness won't last much longer.
Au revoir, dear, for a little while
with oceans of love and xxxxxx