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Date: June 17th 1918

Monday morning The trenches

17 June, 1918 Somewhere in France

(Letter No. 46)

My dear dad,

I received your very welcome letter with mother's p.c. from Southend this morning. Thank you both ever so much for them. I am ever so pleased that you had a good time; couldn't I just wish that I also was at the end of Southend pier enjoying sandwiches, eggs, jam turnovers etc and that you were with me. That is a treat to come later though, isn't it? I am pleased to think that you get my letters regularly, it must make all the difference. Of course at any time I might be prevented from sending even a field code especially as I expect to do more traveling in a day or so; I hope that wouldn't be a sign for you to get the wind up. I have been very lucky in having the opportunity to write a short note each day. What rotten hard luck on poor old Tom Holliday, I think it a downright shame that he has had no letters. It is probably because he has been transferred to a new unit at one of the bases and is not in some hospital. I doubt whether he will get to Blighty now. I was surprised to hear that you had taken over my old "labour of love" - Treasurer of the 16th. You may find the a/c's in a "wee" bit of pickle but with your experience in book keeping they should be in A1 Order in no time. I get very little green stuff or fruit but the army give us an issue of neat lime juice (unsweetened) which serves the same purpose I suppose. However, I should very much like a bottle of magnesia. I feel a bit "heady" at times for lack of exercise here. Yes! Funds are OK at present. I have not worked off the debit balance. [?] may need some cash in about a fortnight. Don't send any until I ask you to. Also had a letter from Miller and Bert this morning - they had taken 9 days to reach me owing to that last move. Don't forget that I am in B Coy now and no longer at the Wing!

Yesterday was Sunday - the first sabbath I have spent in the trenches. I managed to get a fair amount of sleep the night before as I did not have much to do fortunately. After breakfast I wrote to mother and then had a wash and shave in half a mug full of water. A special treat was in store for me by way of a good wash in the afternoon. I went to a place behind the lines where tarpaulins baths had been filled up and had a fine dip in cold water and got a clean change of clothing. Unfortunately it turned a little cold and rained slightly during the afternoon but the bath was none the less very enjoyable.

I changed my quarters after tea and am now in another part of the line. I have been on sentry all night, one hour on and two off and shall be until about 4o/c tomorrow morning. This will make about 30 hours sentry and when it is up I shall need a bit of sleep. We can't get enough sleep in the trenches and always look forward to the "rest" when it comes.

I am quite on the rocks for paper until I get my pack again so am still unable to write letters to any but you at home.

Give my best love to mother, the boys, Grandma and Cookey.

All good wishes from

your affectionate son

Bert xxx

PS. Should like a washing glove. Have lent the other.