November 3rd 1917
I received your letter last night and think it's the best I've had yet. As regards the brooches I feel kind of guilty after the blow up you & Ella gave me about them. It certainly wasn't much to send you two about a tenth of what I blew on myself. I wish you'd write and tell me what you, Ella, Dad, Grandma, Choco, Annie, Aunt Muriel, Aunt Hattie, Cousin Laura, Momo, Aunt Amelia and the rest want for Christmas. You wouldn't get them till about your birthday maybe as my leave will probably come about Xmas and you know what a mutt I am buying things for people. Especially Dad, I'd like to get him something decent for once in his life.
As regards cash I haven't had my pass book yet but I guess I'll have 30 or 40 quid anyway. I intend to visit Jessie Carrick this time and take it easy.
We're probably going out to rest soon then to a hotter spot I guess.
You might send some of the latest rags out for the gramophone. Victor or Columbia or any disc record will fit O.K. And also you might send me a couple of tins of Edgeworth smoking tobacco. Cut Plug if you can get it or Sliced Plug or the ready- rubbed. Pretty large order eh!
Glad to hear Hugh's album arrived O.K. I see by the paper the Billing's think John Carling sent it on. However, I guess they're pretty well balled up about it.
I told Ella about seeing Des. MacMahon I think and I'm going to meet Humph Gilbert and him at the Officers Club on the 6th. I'll tell you if we click.
Nix on the brave stuff, I'm thinking the best souvenir of this war is a whole skin. By the way we were shelled for an hour in the afternoon and an hour in the evening the other day. The Major was away and I was in charge. The second time one man was out in front lighting the night lights and I thought he was hit so a Corporal & I ran out to get him. Just then two more came. Very luckily they were duds. If they'd gone off I'd have had a regulation white cross. The man wasn't hit so we all ran for the dugout and got there just in time. It was pitch dark and say, maybe we weren't scared stiff! Oh no! not a tall.
That sure is some job Grey has now. Lucky devil! Am glad you hung onto the pins, of course they were for you two and I don't get you about that canny business. Tell Dad to work the graft stuff on the Exemption Board to the limit. When am I going to get Dad & Ella's photographs.
Underwear going strong 3 suits. Tell Dad I'll write him a good long one next time if there's any news. Gee! I've a big list now to write to. It's worth it though.
Best love to all,