July 19, 1916
Since writing you last six letters have come to hand. Mother's Father's and Marjorie's of June 24th, 26th and 25th. went to Napier after I had left and were delayed in transmission. Those of the 29th, 1st. and second came yesterday and were a great feast. If I don't always mention the bits of news they contain, it isn't because I don't appreciate it. Everything is of interest to me, especially the details of things at Cecebe.
The news about Rex pleases me greatly. There will be trying moments I dare say; but I feel sure he is doing what is wise and right.
The days here are simply full to overflowing. It is hard to get correspondence done at all. We seem to be settling down for our regular 4 months course. We were measured for our Cadet uniforms yesterday. They are of modest officer's pattern, but are worn without the Sam Brown belt or badges. When I am turned out I shall have to have a post-card photo taken I think.
The fellows here are of all sorts and sizes - some of them callow youths fresh from the O.T.C.s of the Colleges, some from the front; many of them bearing the honorable scars of battle. For the most part they are a fine breed and perfect gentlemen which is more than I can say for most of the Canadians. It should be a lesson to them.
Yesterday evening Skilling and I rented a punt, and discovered as I had surmised that there is more to punting than sticking the pole in the mud and shoving. The craft has an uncanny preference for swinging from side to side, or in a circle instead of going straight forward. We improved by practice, however, and spent a very pleasant evening.
To-day we had a sort of picnic - a map-reading trip to Shotover which is about 4 miles out. We cover about the same ground in our course here that we did at Shorncliffe but will do more at putting our theory into practice - a very necessary part of training. We took haversack rations, and rather enjoyed ourselves in spire of the heat and flies. Got back about 4.30, had a shower and was in fine time for dinner.
I expect to take a run up to Leicester for the weekend. Unfortunately the Sunday train service was not designed for my convenience, so I shall have to return to Oxford before lunch. However, I shall have most of Saturday afternoon and evening and shall see Ralph Freeman who is to be home from St. John's Wood, where he is taking the artillery course.
Love to all,