Friday Eve. 9th August, 1918
My dearest mother,
I have found a quiet little meadow surrounded by trees in which to come and have my little daily talk with you. It has not rained today and now the sun has broken through the clouds making all cheerful and bright. There has been rather a cool wind blowing such as one would hardly expect in August but perhaps there is a warmer autumn in front of us. Everywhere the farm people are busy cutting the fields of ripe corn taking advantage of the dry weather. The rains which have fallen recently seemed to hamper the reaping of the harvest. The countryside now wears a golden mantle, except where the patches of wood and the evergreen hill crests break the monotony. Even "Tommy" has his share of the reaping to do for where it is inexpedient for the peasant to cut the corn growing near the trenches he has to go out under cover of darkness armed with a sickle or scythe and gather in the crops; one of the various unusual jobs a soldier is found to do. It is very quiet now except for the occasional thud of a big gun sending little packets of "the stuff to give 'em" over to Jerry; but this is a welcome sound (except at nights) for it means another nail in Kaiser's coffin. My word, he seems to be getting a few cough drops on the various sectors now. I can tell you it puts us into good spirits and we don't notice the few unpleasant things so much.
I have had a cushy day today getting a few jobs done for myself. First I had to take my shorts to the tailors as I made them uncomfortable when I tried to stretch them up at M---. After that I went for a hot bath and also got a clean change of clothing. I can tell they look after troops nowadays despite the fact that there are so many more out here. This afternoon I got my boots repaired and managed to find a canteen with some grub to sell (quite a rare find in the village nowadays). This doesn't imply that the food has been short lately; to the contrary the rations have been quite good and usually well cooked. It is an unwritten law in the army that when a chap goes down the line in hospital, the remainder of his platoon "strafe" any parcels that may arrive for him. Well, we had a parcel on our hands today and so the tea-table was graced with a jolly fine home-made cake.
Owing to the fact that I have recently moved from the Wing, I have not had any post for a day or two and, altho' I received an interesting batch from home today, I believe there must be some letters hanging about for me somewhere.
I have got the letter you wrote last Sunday enclosing the one from Mrs. Stuart and also Dad's letter. Thank you both very much for them - the news you give is very cheering and interesting as I hope mine is to you. I will answer them tomorrow.
I wish you could feel just as I do about all this business; then you would have no anxiety. The trouble is, despite my descriptive efforts, you are left to imagine conditions while I know just how comfortable they are.
Now I must say goodbye for a little,
With heaps of love and xxxxx
from your devoted son,