Letter No 57 The barn
Thursday Eve 27th June, 1918
My dear mother,
I believe that it is a well known fact that is not work but worry that kills. Our C.O. is indeed doing his best to demonstrate the truth of it. It is eight o'clock now and this is the very first opportunity I have had to write any letters; as a rule I can only manager to write two letters a day, one home and one to someone else, that the pile of letters in my pocket which have to be answered gradually gets bigger instead of smaller. Today I had a letter from Evelyn Young and one from Luie. I must say that the boys of the Troop do keep me well posted up with news; the trouble is to find time to acknowledge their letters. I have not had a letter from home today, but there are some on the way.
As you know I was on guard until reveille this morning and consequently did not get very much sleep. Fortunately I had an easy morning's work; from 8-9am inspection: 9-11 firing on the rifle range, which I quite enjoyed; then half an hour's gas mask drill followed by a lecture on the L.G. This afternoon I had a digging job from 2pm - 3pm, making a place for a canvas bath. At 3 o'clock I had a hot bath which greatly refreshed me and which, it is unnecessary to say, I needed. Each man had a small portable canvas bath in which he could sit and wash. There were no clean changes of underclothing so I put on my clean linen shirt. I should like another one when you are next sending any. By the time I had finished bathing it was nearly tea time. This evening I was paid - 10 francs - which doesn't go very far when I am in a place where much stuff can be bought. At this place however it is not possible to buy much in the way of extras, the supplies being very limited. It is fine being able to buy new laid eggs from the farm people; today for tea I had two fried eggs, which I cooked myself, and they were only 35 ctms each (3d English money).
We did think that our labours for the day were finished by tea time, but no! There was a fatigue party needed and, it being B Coy's day for duty of this kind, we had to go and dig for an hour or so and I have just come back feeling pretty tired.
I have to remind myself sometime that I am having a "rest"; as I told Aunty Amy yesterday, "respite" from the strain of the trenches would be a more appropriate word; but of course anything is better than the old trenches, although quite a number of chaps say they would rather be up there than here so it can't be so bad.
I am getting a bit short of writing paper. I do hope you all keeping quite well and cheery.
Give my love to Dad, the boys, Grandma and Cooky.
With fondest love and xxxxx
from your affectionate son,
PS. We are now given to understand that we are not out for a rest but for training and that a rest (we hope a proper one) is to come later. This puts a different light on the matter.