The same village, France
Thursday, 11th July, 1918
My dearest mother,
This is the day when I believe you are expected to return home after your little change. I feel sure that you will agree with me that another week spent by the sea would have been worth while, but I hope that as it is you have both come back greatly refreshed in mind and body to stand the stress and strain of the coming months.
Yesterday morning I was medically examined for the Commission and passed as "physically fit". Of course there is the stiff medical to pass later on, but that isn't of much consequence at present. I thought that I shouldn't have time to write this letter in time for the post, so I dropped a line to Dad advising him of the trouble the wretched Board of I.R. were causing. This delay, for a reason which may be apparent later, will make all difference to me. The Battalion went for a route march yesterday but for the above mentioned reason I did not go and instead had a fatigue. This didn't last long so I had plenty of time in which to do a few odd jobs for myself. I wrote a few letters in the billet and as it was a fine day I washed out all my handkerchiefs. In the afternoon it rained on and off so I rested in the billet with Stuart until 3.30 when we originally set out for a walk before; but seeing the opportunity of a row on the duck pond we didn't go. The boats are home made affairs and were first built for the Water Carnival held about a fortnight ago. It was good fun rowing round and round - I quite imagined that I was on the lake at Finsbury Park.
There was to have been a service for N.Cs in the evening, but it was evidently washed out; as we didn't feel like letter writing we went for a walk through the cornfields and had a heated argument about the government back home.
I had a cheery note from Flo last night; thank her very much for it and tell her that I will write later and that her dream will come true! The post this afternoon has just arrived and brought the Quadrant Magazine; it is extremely interesting this month. I have not heard from you or dad for three days now. Evidently you have been having a jolly good time at Westcliff and forgotten - I am pleased to think - all about the old war.
I have a photo of B Coy - unfortunately I am nearly hidden behind a "bloke"; the photographer pressed the button before I was ready. I am afraid that I can't send it home until you send me a large envelope - but half a mo', someone has kindly lent me one. I have had to cut the edges down a bit. I am in the second row. I have a Ý on the bottom of the photo indicating my place. Stuart is on my left (actually). I shall be able to tell you more about the various chaps when I get home.
Now I have to take part in a three legged race - it is Batt'n sports day.
So goodbye for a little while,
With heaps of love and xxxx
from your affectionate son,