No 4 Reserve Squadron Ruislip
Dec 15 1916
My Dear Mother
I never seem to realize that it is Friday and that the mail goes that night, until it is nearly over. However as you have often said a few lines are better than nothing at all.
The weather is rather miserable just now. Snow on the ground, at least slush, and a damp raw wind, which chills one to the bone. It is quite bad enough on the ground but a few times worse in the air.
However I have been very fortunate last couple of days in that I have not been up much. I happen to be a little ahead of the bunch in time so until they get caught up a bit I have it a little easier in flying. There is lots of other work to do though. I cannot make myself think or rather realize that it is nearly Xmas. I haven't bought a single present yet and don't know when I shall. We have been told we will get no holidays this Xmas at all so we are not looking forward to a decent Xmas at all. I expect to have to work right through. Perhaps that is why I do not think so much about it. Next Xmas after this I shall be home though, I hope. It will be much better than last Xmas in Flanders, although I had no kick as I enjoyed myself very much that day. I know it will be very quiet for Father, Emily and self, but do try to have a good time as both Alf and myself will be much happier if we know that you are all enjoying yourselves. I hope G. F., Belle and Fred will come up too, as that would make a very merry party.
If I don't have to work I know I shall have a good day. I have had such a lot of nice invitations to homes for Xmas. Two or three in town here, one in Oxford and of course to Folkestone which is of the standing order. If Alf is in England he will spend the day with the Reades. Have had quite good week of it altogether in flying. Have had one quite good adventure which I will tell you about later and I have crashed 3 machines to date and never a scratch to myself. I'm not a bit nervous in the air so I am sure I shall be alright as the worst of the preliminary is now over. I feel much more confident now than I did before my crashes, so I am on the sure road to success now.
Always so glad to get your letters, and you all write very regularly. Am expecting the socks any day now and shall let you know when they arrive. Please do not send anything big or expensive at all this year as I am not. We can have a good time when the war is over and we are all home again. I know that it is very expensive here and we have to buy such expensive things for equipment that there is not much left over so we will be mutual that way at least.
Must close now with much love and best Xmas wishes for each one, and kindest regards and wishes for Miss Smith.