January 23, 1918
Received your letter today which was dated Xmas day and was so glad to hear from you as it was the first American mail to arrive for several weeks.
You spoke about the Motto on my Xmas Card. I suppose you mean "Quo fas et Gloria decent" as that is the only motto I can remember. If that is the first time you have ever noticed that motto, what is happening to your eyesight? Did you never notice it on my cap badge?
That camp hear Natehitockes must be nearly as big as Witley Camp at least it has nearly as many men in it. You said 1000 men went home for Xmas without leave and you wondered what they would get. Well I don't know what they would do over there but over here they would get 2 days Field Punishment No 2, 2 days pay stopped for every day they were absent. Over here it would be impossible to do it as no one can leave camp without a pass and so they would only get away by forging one for which the punishment is 90 days Detention. One day detention is supposed to be equal to 28 days F.P No 2 so you can see what would happen. Anyway just wait until they get to England and they will soon get used to such trifles as having Xmas leave stopped. They can't have much discipline at that camp if 1000 men got away. Oh, I suppose I shouldn't say that since you are an American now.
Charlie Armostrong is going to France tonight at 9 O'clock. I am going up in a little while and see him off. He is in a Keary Battery.
Ralph Blackmore is going in a few days. I only wish I were going too. I was up to Witley Camp to see him tonight but I couldn't find him. You had my address wrong today and the letter went all over the place before it found me. You had "B" Battery, 2nd Brigade, C.R.A.; the correct address is "B" Battery, Reserve Brigade, C.7.A. Witley Camp.
Well I don't know much more to say except that it is just as muddy as usual here so I may as well close while there is space.