Dec. 30th, 1915
My dearest Doll,
Thank you so much for your letter which I received a few days ago. It is very interesting hearing about yours and Madge's lives at the hospital and the good work you are doing. I am so glad you like it. According to Ronald, if we got a "blighty" we could get into your hospital through virtue of having relations connected with the F.M.S. Wouldn't it be jolly! When a fellow gets wounded the first question one asks is whether it is a "blighty" and if the reply is in the affirmative everyone says "lucky beggar," but of course this must be taken with a grain of salt. However I don't think there is much need to worry about us getting wounded yet awhile. The process of reorganization seems very slow, in fact up to the present there is no visible sign of it, and I think we shall be marooned here for weeks. The regiment held some successful sports on the 28th. There was a football match in the morning when "C" squadron won the regimental championship. We were allowed off for the afternoon so got there in time for the sports. Jack Rowe and I entered for the wheelbarrow race, he being the wheel, but we did not get a place. In the evening there was a smoking concert which went with the usual swing. Cheese, biscuits, fruit, cigars and French beer were supplied free. The Colonel distributed the prizes and remarked when presenting C Squadron with theirs that "C Squadron could evidently play football as well as they could fight." It is very nice having an occasional reunion like that, as in the Grenade Section which is a Brigade affair, you feel a bit cut off from your old regiment. On the evening of New Year's Day 2nd troop are getting up a bit of shine I believe which we must try and get over for. My parcel from the Barwicks arrived last night -a pair of socks from Mrs., tobacco from George and Sid, and a cake of soap from Gladys. Very good of them, wasn't it? I had already written in answer to the letter, so if Ray gets them on the phone when he sees this letter and says how pleased I was with the things it will save me writing again so soon. I went on dental parade today, not that I had been bothered with toothache but I had one that needed filling, and it might have made trouble for me in the trenches when there is no chance of getting anything done for it. There were a lot of aeroplanes out yesterday. At one time I counted as many as sixteen all close together and they looked just like a flock of birds circling round. I wonder what the next development will be in the war. At present there seems to be a deadlock all round. I often have a look at the snapshots Grace sent me of Raymond and the baby and the cattle with my shack and the well-house in the background. It is astonishing how free from colds one keeps in this country in spite of continually having damp feet through splashing through mud all day. I put it down to not having any artificial heat. There are no fires or stoves to sit over, and the barns though frequently cold and draughty keep pretty much at the same temperature. I should think your patients would not miss the picture shows so much through having been over here. The towns and villages here are deadly dull in the evenings. If people were enterprising enough to start a good picture show they would make piles. A Canadian soldier did have a miniature one going here for a few nights. I went one night. The screen was not much larger than a good-sized pocket handkerchief, but the pictures were quite clear, and the room was packed with soldiers.
Good-bye with much love to you and Madge
Ever your affectionate brother