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Date: July 6th 1918

The same place
Somewhere in France
Saturday Eve, 6 July, 1918
Letter No 66

My dearest mother,

It is very pleasant to think that you are at the present moment enjoying a short holiday down at Westcliff. I had such a splendid post today - I feel quite excited. First of all your letter written last Sunday evening, June 30th - a batch of papers from the [?] Institute! - a postcard from Uncle Geo - a parcel from you containing a clean shirt, handkerchief, writing pad and envelopes, coffee and tin of sulphur - your letter dated 1 July and Walter's note. Let me hasten to thank you ever so much indeed for the trouble you have taken over me during last weekend; your letters especially have cheered me up a good deal.

I am sorry to hear that Dad is not so well. I do hope that he will soon get well at the seaside. The services last Sunday seem to have gone off very well and I should very much like to have witnessed the presentation of the troop's banners. I managed to get a writing block and a few envelopes at the canteen a day or so ago so that I have plenty of writing material now.

I was relieved to hear that the papers arrived quite safely - I wonder what you thought when you saw them; they must have come somewhat as a surprise. I think I have a very good chance of getting a commission - at any rate I am hopeful although as you have seen there is no end of performance to go through before I am finally fixed up. Young Mig's letter is very interesting - how is his spirit?

Last night, being so warm, Stuart and I decided to sleep out in the open, so we selected a nice spot in an orchard and slept there very comfortably and I was not kept awake with the toothache which is much better now. I am writing this on the top of another stack but it is supper time and I must finish this tomorrow.

(Sunday morning) I am making an endeavour to finish this before Church Parade this morning. Yesterday was practically a holiday and I was very pleased. Reveille was at 7.30 and kit inspection at 9am. My boots wanted repairing so I took them round to the bootmaker [?] for an hour while they were being done. Our band was practicing while I was waiting so that the time soon passed. They were trying over the two overtures [?] which they did very well, I thought.

As soon as I got my boots I went round to Stuart's billet and then we both took our books into the woods until dinner time. It was too hot in the afternoon to do anything but lay down in the shade somewhere so we wandered off to the other end of the Chateau grounds and slept all the time. I imagine you in the garden at home or in the park playing tennis little dreaming that you were by the sea and probably resting on the cliffs.

After tea our Company had its photo taken in the Chateau grounds; it will be interesting for you to see. This took up a good deal of the evening so that I did not have much time to write any letters.

Our colonel has expressed the view that as many as possible will sleep out in the open to prevent the spread of the 'flu which is rather prevalent over here as it is in Blighty. I suppose Archie will work an extension of leave on account of his indisposition. Yesterday the weather was jolly and the evening being mild, Stuart and I slept out in the orchard again. Since we have been in different billets we have not been able to sleep together but we welcome the opportunity of doing so again. If we get a chance we are going to try and get in the same platoon.

I hope you are making the best of the holiday - and I want you to enjoy yourself all the more because I shall not be going up the line for about a fortnight.

Give my love to dad, With fondest love and xxx

from Bert