Friday Eve. 28 June, 1918 A wood
Somewhere in France
Letter No 58
My dear little Nig,
I have just received the letter you wrote last Sunday and, as you know, I was very pleased with it. I notice that, like several other correspondents, you have enclosed some paper for a reply; this is quite a good idea as it saves me carrying a writing pad about and ensures that I have always some paper handy whenever I get an opportunity to write a letter. Searching through my pile of unanswered letters I find that I have not answered the letter you wrote on the 16th so I will reply to both now.
I expect you were delighted with the bike; it is rather unfortunate that you have had so much trouble with it. I believe you pay more attention now to the services at the Quadrant, otherwise you would not be able to criticise the minister as you do. I have every hope of being home in time to have some of the vegetables from the garden; I am pleased to hear they are coming up well. Your stamp collection is growing - you will soon have 500.
Letter No 9 is indeed longer - surprised to hear that Justin Evans was off colour - As I have said before Dawson is a lucky bounder; to go on a draft for Ireland didn't want much volunteering for and all that talk about disappointment at not going to France is "tommy rot" and you can tell him so.
The hostile artillery you speak of did not occur on the sector in which I was; but perhaps you [censored]. I had a letter from Isa today in which she told me of her deputising at the "Bank"; how I should have liked to see old Charlie again and have been with you all.
I have had a good day today. The parades and work went off very much the same as usual - I had hot soup for lunch. I spent all the afternoon reading the British Weekly in a hay field; I had already finished my football match.
It has been a grand day today - bright sunshine and a cooling breeze - and it is a treat to be out in the shade of the trees. I wish you were here with me; you would enjoy scrambling through the trees and thickets. There is no shortage of strawberries here; there are little wild ones growing near the ground in many parts round here, but they aren't much good for eating.
I am sorry to hear that there is an epidemic of colds at home; I hope you will all soon get rid of them.
I am keeping very well; why, you won't know me when I get back because I am much bigger and as brown as a nut.
So Bertie Birdcatcher told you that I have begun to smoke; ha!ha! I have been going to write and tell you myself many times but have forgotten to do so. You see I have nothing in particular to remind me as my smoking so far has been to the extent of a dozen cigarettes and as I don't much care for them, I only smoke when it is advisable to do so; this was mostly in the trenches.
Well I think this is all, so far and I must now get on with some more letters.
Give my fondest love to mother and dad and the boys
With lots of love and xxxxx