In a dugout.
Jan 3rd 1916
My dearest Pa
As I wrote the date it reminded me that I would be too late to wish you many happy returns of he forth, on the exact day, but a day or two won't matter much so I now wish you, from the very bottom of my heart all you could wish for yourself and more. And that you may be spared to see many more fourth's of Jan and that they may be happy one's. God grant it!
Thanks very much for getting that paper signed but whether I shall get what I'm after remains to be seen.
I'm very glad about Percy. Oxford is a very fine place for I remember I spent a very pleasant time there with Ray. The quaint tram system is the comical bit of that city.
Oh! You know that description of Xmas day I sent Mother well would you mind making a copy of it and sent it to Ray - 4802 A Coy 1st H.H.C. (Inf Batt), B.E.F. Thank you.
I am very well and happy and although we have it pretty muddy here in these ditches at present the moonlight nights more than make up for that inconvenience. It is now close on midnight and I'm just going up to do three hours guard in the moonlit trench outside. I generally have some special theme upon which to contemplate and so pass the time of each "shift". This particular shift's theme will more than probably be you, seeing it is the first three hours of the 4th Jan 1917.
So I must stop writing and go to the thinking part.
Ever your very loving boy
I agree with the idea of Stanley helping you protem! But wouldn't like him to attend Clark's evening schools if the hours would not be too long for his health. Don't hesitate to draw on my account for his schooling.