Overlooking a large town
Somewhere in France
Sunday Eve. 23 June, 1918
My dearest mother,
There never were such times - you should see the post I have had today:- Grandma Willmott's ripping parcel, your letter dated 19th, dad's letter of the same date, a letter from Cyril, a letter from Uncle John, one from Grandma Willmott and a card from Uncle Geo. I am simply head over heals with joy and excitement too. The goodies in the parcel are really A1. I want you to thank Grandma ever so much for her kindness. Thank all the others too for their letters. Really you must ease up with the parcels, I feel sure you are going short and I would rather go without them a thousand times rather than that should occur. While I am out on rest (and I should be resting for another fortnight or longer) I can get plenty of good stuff as a rule. It is in the trenches that parcels are specially welcome, as I have already pointed out. So you will please me much more if you take my little tip and then both parties will be satisfied. Why, do you know what I had for breakfast this morning? Two fired eggs (which I got up early for and fried myself in the farmyard), baked rissole, bread, butter, jam and tea. Who could wish for better?
Your letters are a real treat; but I know you are very busy and often too tired to write so that I don't want you to tax yourself too much, You have all done splendidly in writing me so very often and you know they are greatly appreciated; in my turn I have done my best to acknowledge them all and reply in time. I have your last two letters to answer:- I expect old Blake looked alright in his cadets' uniform; don't I wish I was following in his footsteps. You seem to judge by your last few letters, to be missing me more than ever rather than getting more used to me being away, and I have every good reason to believe that you are over anxious about me. Now, you know how silly it is to worry. Don't you remember how we try and persuade Grandma not to do so and yet she will. "Take no anxious thoughts for the morrow, sufficient for the day is the evil - and the good - thereof." So let me entreat you not to worry; I shall carry on with a much lighter heart if I think you are happy at home than if I know you were silently fretting. The motto is cheer up! - and I'll soon be back again. I was not surprised to hear about Uncle Bert, but I do not think he and Sally were very well matched somehow. She is so very fiery at times. Letters and parcels don't take quite so long to reach me now that I am with the Batt and they certainly come more regularly. All the contents of No 7 parcel arrived quite safely. I am saving the chocolate as an "iron" ration to be used later on. You would be surprised how used one gets to gunfire and after a time takes no notice of it. Little Mig ¹ is a caution: it is a shame to put the wind up him by giving him a detention card for such a trivial thing as talking. You talk about the cold weather already; why, I shall be home before that comes along.
I have spent a very happy day today. This morning I went on church parade at 9.30am. The Non-conformists chaplain took our service and I quite enjoyed it after the many CofE services I have been to lately. The rest of the day I spent with Stuart in some pleasant woods near here reading and writing. The country is glorious round here - wooded slopes and grassy downs. Much hay has already been cut and at present I am leaning against a hay stack in a field from which I can see about four miles to the east the cathedral of a town which has been spoken of lately in the papers. I start training tomorrow so shall not have so much time for letter writing.
Our band is playing a fine tune , the sounds of which are carried by the breeze from the village green. In closing I want to ask you to answer me that you won't worry any more, there's a dear.
Tootle loo! Heaps of love and romps
from Old Dinkey xxxxxxx
¹Younger brother Walter