Tuesday 23 July, 1918
Behind the lines
Letter No 83
My dearest mother,
I am so blessed; every day brings me fresh letters expressing loving thoughts and prayers for my welfare, that I am inspired to ever be happy amidst so much unhappiness and cheerful amidst so much sorrow. Not that I am indifferent to the sadness of the war; naturally I am tired of it and long for home; but since I have to remain out here for some time to come to fulfill my share of peacemaking, it behoves me to accept my lot in the most cheerful manner possible for in this way I shall better weather this stormy life. Thus my eternal thanks are due to the number of my dear friends who continually write in the most cheerful and affectionate manner. Best of all are the letters I receive from home and particularly from you for these are the ties that bind us in thought while we are separated for a time. Mr. Waller is most good; he write me every week and I derive great joy from his thoughtful words. The members of the troop have more than come up to expectations and many are the characteristic "scout" letters I receive. I have found it impossible to reply personally to each of these but a letter which I addressed to the Troop served the purpose of thanking one and all for their great interest in me. I hear occasionally from Mr. Quartly and Blake and their messages are always welcome. The former is at Boulogne in a YMCA hut pending the results of his application for a Labour or POW Commission. Of course our good friend Hubert is having the time of his life and hopes I shall be fortunate enough to follow in his footsteps.
(Wednesday) Yesterday I had a letter from you which I greatly welcomed, but it made me rather sad because I can see all too plainly that you are taking it all so seriously. I am afraid the papers give you all sorts of false impressions concerning the state of affairs on the particular front where I was last. You already know that while you imagined I was having a rough time I was actually in the cushiest place possible; don't you think this is a good reason to induce you to hope for the best; at least, imagine the best?
I also had a pleasant note from Uncle Walter enclosing two batteries and two more he says are already with you when I want others later on. Mr. Curl wrote as well acknowledging the letter to the troop referenced to above and told me how well things were going.
As I hoped I was much better yesterday and went on parade. As it was rather rainy we had lectures instead of outdoor work. In the afternoon, between the showers, I bought some things to make up a parcel for Stuart and dispatched it before tea.
There is a concert given by the "Follies" in the evening but as most of the seats were reserved, I could not get in. I spent the evening with an old 8 platoon chap - Palmer in C Coy - in an orchard, reading.
It is now evening and since writing the above I have again moved and am now in a village about a mile and half behind the line. This is the third time I have been here and everything seems to be getting familiar to me, as if I had been in France, oh! such a long time. I was on parade this morning until 11 o'clock and then packed up all my kit ready for moving directly after dinner. When I arrived here I had to help clean out a few billets ready for some more of our fellows. I am hoping to see Stuart here tomorrow.
The "Follies" are giving a concert here tonight but again I have been disappointed - never mind it has given me the chance to finish this letter.
I may be moving about during the next few days and possibly shall not be able to write a letter every day, so if I send a field card, don't get the "wind up".
I don't think there is any more news so I will say good bye for a little while.
With oceans of love and xxxxx
from your devoted son,