4 Squadron R. F. C.
B. E. F. France
My Dear Father.
Am quite tired tonight although I haven't done so very much work to?day. Was up for about four hours this afternoon, but it was all work all the time. There was so much wind and I had to fly just beneath the clouds, which makes it doubly bumpy. There are such unheard of currents of air just under the clouds that when it is impossible to see through them and one is forced to stay under it is almost the limit. All it requires is just brute strength to keep the machines right side up.
Yesterday was more or less of a worrying day for us but it all came off so well that everyone is entirely happy. Besides the rough weather we had it rough other ways. If you recall yesterday (20 Sept) you will see that it was one of our most successful shows. I could write pages about it but it wouldn't do, but believe me it was a grand affair. That is it was from our point of view. The show was just a local one but the concentration of artillery was wonderful. It was by far the hottest bit I have been in. The first half hour of my time yesterday was pretty hot until I got used to it. I never flew in such a rain of shells in all my life. But they had the desired effect and the Hun was utterly demoralized. We were up looking for his batteries but they were all silent, for the simple reason that the majority of them were knocked out.
The clouds were very thick and quite low, at 2000 ft, and we all had to fly just on the edge of them. There were scores of them working on the small front and how more machines were not hit and run down I cannot understand. But I am glad to say I came out of it O.K. as usual.
Had a letter from Alf a few days ago. He as at a hospital or rest home at Boulogne. He will be quite alright now where ever he goes. They will not send him back to his unit until he is fit, but I am disappointed that I could not work England for him. Had it not been for that wretched Major he would have been there now.
Your letter arrived yesterday. I guess you are pretty lonesome for Mother and Emily but as long as they are having such a good time you will not mind, will you? I would like mighty well to see them myself.
I don't know what to do about it, I am sure. I mean the leave question. After all I have had a comparatively easy time of it, and I do not feel like asking for an instructor's job yet. I would like to be able to stick it here until it is all over. And I could not claim it on nerves because my nerves are just as good as they ever were, and I never felt better in my life. In fact I think the job agrees with me. If you people could just come over and see me I would be delighted to carry on where I am.
I was so glad to get Mother's and Emily's letters today. They are having such a good time. It is such a comfort for me to know that they can go someplace like that and enjoy it so much. Also was pleased to get the snaps from Minaki. They all looked so well and happy. I have a couple of snaps that I had taken a couple of months ago so will enclose them. They were taken right here, but the camera was a small one and they are not too plain, so I have marked yours truly with an arrow, in case you do not recognize me.
There is absolutely nothing to write about here. In another month the weather will be getting bad for flying, and while we will do a certain amount all winter, the worst part of it will soon be over. It is rather strange but the first?month I was with the squadron we had it very easy, but since then we have been in pushes nearly all the time.
Must close now as I have a number of letters to write and am away behind in everything as usual.
I am glad the assurance [sic] has picked up a little. One cannot expect very much these days.
Your garden is a treat I am sure. There ought to be some pretty good things come out of it this fall if work counts for anything. And do please save some of that preserved fruit for Alf and I. It, at least, will keep.
Love to Mother, Emily and self.