Monday Eve, 8 July, 1918
The same village
Somewhere in France
Letter No. 68
My dear mother,
It was a treat to come in from the hot afternoon work to find your letter dated 3rd and letter card dated 4th awaiting me in the billet. Poor old Dad soon gets run down; it would be a great shame if he was passed as fit in any way for Military Service. Of course "Cookey" would say that she'd liked to have been here when my clothes were in the disinfector; I shall have a "fight" with her for this and it won't be long before I get the desired opportunity.
You've no need to worry about me going up the line again for some little time yet; there is no talk about it yet and for all I know we've "umpteen" more weeks to spend on rest. I am not worrying my head about the trenches, so there is no jolly old reason why you should; why, it's bad enough when I am up there so what's the good of meeting trouble half way and wondering when the "when" will be? Therefore "Be ye of good cheer" and follow our example in this respect. I am so pleased you are favourably impressed with Boarding House at which you are staying. It makes all the difference to a holiday if the "digs" are good; after my experiences out here I could put up with any old "barn" provided the grub was good and plentiful. How do you get on for food? I should think the manageress is put to her wits end to do justice to the catering nowadays. You seem surprised that I should have had 3 eggs for a Sunday's tea; well, it didn't seem much and really I could easily have eaten more. Why some of our champion U boats have anything 4 to 6 at a time and think nothing of it It's the open air life and exercise that creates what "civvies" think abnormal appetites.
Well, I suppose dad has shown you my letter describing yesterday's doings and you will see that I had a very happy day. Today has been a busy one for me. After C.O. inspection and drill we did some field operations, when I had to "flop" down on the ground "umpteen" times and burned my knees pretty considerably. But that's nothing. When I got back for dinner I did think parades were over for the day, but someone wasn't satisfied with my firing on the range so I had to go and spend from 3-5pm in the uncomfortable hot sun and try and better my score. I was "fed up" and moreover not in form so I just failed to "pass out" by one mark; and unless I remedy this on the range tomorrow morning I shall have the onerous of another afternoon put upon me.
After tea I had forgotten all about the "joys" of the afternoon and bunked off into the woods to attend to my usual business. Even in the army I have the reputation of doing most pen pushing - should be quite lost without ink and paper! I have completed the C papers and am sending them to the Orderly Room tomorrow. I considered it expedient to only attach the type written copies of testimonials and stated that I should be pleased to submit originals for inspection at any time.
Old "Stew" - I always call him "Jerry" - is confined to camp tonight so I am alone. There is a concert in the chateau grounds going on at present, so now that all the correspondence for tonight is done I shall stroll over.
The weather is breaking and is a little thundery. The rain will do good as we have not had any for a long time.
You will be at 117 by the time you get this and I hope greatly refreshed in mind and body by the change.
Give my love to all.
With heaps of xxxxxx
from your loving son