My dear Gertrude.
Your letter of the 26nd came at noon today - a 4 weeks mail - & at the same time Mother's of six days ago saying that she had had a card from you to say you were sailing on the "Metapama". She also mentioned Pauline's engagement, Muriel having heard from her.
I suppose you have quite likely already landed in England & I hope you had a comfortable crossing, & pleasant companions I should think your chances of good weather were not bad - & I believe the ship is a good one.
You will have quite a few letters of mine to follow you.
Glad you saw the Watson's - but evidently there is no chance of Mrs Syd being with you - a pity it wouldn't have been arranged.
I never remember meeting or hearing of Pauline's friends at Bensons but when I was at home Muriel showed me a photo of a group of Bensons, Pauline had sent to her.
As to plans for the future I will have to wait till I hear from you of your arrival. I don't think I can apply for leave until I know a definite date but will see if it is advisable. I take it you will arrive or have arrived at Eccles about to-day. Then you will have to decide where you would like or can most conviently have the ceremony & if that is not at Eccles, you will have to go there for the 15 days Which will put the earliest likely day about the 8th of January & I see the 9th is a Thursday - which seems to me, other things being equal, to be the best day of the week. Of course the following Thursday would be the 16th but I don't know that it will be easier to get leave for a week later than for the 9th. I would probably try & get leave for 2 days before, spend one night at home - come on the next day to wherever you are & put up somewhere overnight - that would mean sailing on the 7th for the 9th.
It is getting late & I must close this for the present. Don't suppose you will get it before next Saturday at earliest.
At any rate we ought soon to be in touch with each other, at an easier corresponding distance than six weeks or more intervals as we have had to endure. The first Blighty letter from you will be an important event.
You will learn when you get my letters written recently that I had given up hope of your sailing before Christmas & therefore of leave being possible till late in January. Partly because of that I sent in my name for a post at a school in another corps this last week which might interfear with getting leave a little. I don't think however I have much chance of getting it & if I did I think it will mean a good enough thing to hold during demobilization - that is increased pay - & help me better, on to something else beyond demobilization than staying with the Battery.
For the present it is good to know you are so much nearer & all the transport delay is over. I hope you are having a sufficiently home-like Christmas wherever you are. A pity you are not going on to Doncaster if only for a day or two, over the 25th but perhaps you will.
I must wish you a very happy New Year - & hope that very early in it we will be able to share & combine our happiness.
With all my love