6.45 PM Friday
My dear Gertrude,
Rather late in the week & I ought at present to be at a Battery whilst [?] to show an interest in my men but my time seems to be very fully occupied these days with educational classes & organization. Fortunately I had the at an educational lecture from 5 to 6 & was too late back to go on to the billets - Fortunately at any rate from the point of view of doing a little writing; for I would have enjoyed the whist alright. So far I have done no Christmas writing at all or rather I started & did not finish a letter to Harold Brown.
A letter from you to-day - dated November 13th just after the shower you received at Mary Ingham's - I never can remember her revised surname. I am glad you had such an enjoyable time & were able to meet so many of your friends there - & also that Mrs Stovs & Joan were able to get to represent my side of your friendships.
Of course your letter was also written just after the armistice was signed & before you had cable. You suggest I might do what I did - that was & take a leave at the time - altho you suggest a small one - however in the army a leave is a leave, you loose nothing by taking a full 14 days & as the only thing that counts in dealing with future leaves, is your last date of arrival in France.
You certainly had greater doings in Toronto than we had in Doncster, but they had rather a wild time in London on the 11th of course getting the news as we did at 11.50, close on midday, instead of before breakfast as you did - made a big difference. Of course I appreciate very much the good wishes of those who knew me & sent them for me. It certainly sounds a very nice list of gifts - & I expect that the 20 cubic feet will prevent you bringing so many over. However I will see them sooner or later.
I have not seen the notice you mention of restricted travelling in Britain, although people have been asked for a long time to reduce their goings & comings to a minimum & when demobilization gets into full swing there will be a big extra demand for travelling accommodation. Rumours says that when that time comes, leave will be stopped in France - & it seems to me likely - however that need not concern special leave.
I have been thinking over possible ways of honeymooning lately. Owing to 3 restrictions - that is war condition - the winter season - & funds, there seems to be not a great deal of choice - Of course as I have had leave at home already - time there is not so important - but I would like to spend 5 or 6 days nevertheless, that we could be amongst them all together especially so if you don't get to see them first. My original idea was to start with a few days or more as you suggested, in some quiet place within the South Yorkshire area - then go to "Braeside" & then spend the last few days in town (that is London) you going North or to friends in the south & I back to France.
But there is a difficulty as to finding accommodation for a few days in a quiet place - If it was a season for Scarborough it would be easy to find. I did think of Bautry the place Aunty Fanny went to in the summer - & I cycled out there on the last Friday of my leave - it is 9 miles south of Doncaster. She stayed at quite a pretty little house, but she had other people coming when Auntie left & I doubt her wanting the bother of people for a few days only.
I am not so sure if perhaps the best solution may not be for us to go direct to London for 5 or 6 days, stay at a quiet hotel where we will be quite independent (visiting a few of the scenes of my army days -) & then return to Doncaster for the last 5 or 6 days - leaving you of course in Doncaster when my time was up.
However we will have time for the interchange of a few letters when you do arrive on this side.
I wonder if this will be a useless letter that will have to be forwarded. I hope it is.
At any rate I will close & try & write at least one Christmas letter this evening.
Hope all is going well in every way. With all my love, if I have not been able to give it to you more tangibly before - which I hardly think possible.