[transcription and transcription annotations have been provided by the collection donor]
August 15th 1917
My Dear Jack,
I must write you a line today to give you my good wishes. It's pretty hard to write at this table as the boys are all kidding each other about when they get wounded and killed at the front. We expect to be going across within a week, so hope soon to see some exciting fighting. I sold my bicycle yesterday and have had a very pleasant summer taking in these towns around here.
We were inspected by the King [George V] and Queen Mary about 2 weeks ago; he was dressed in officer's uniform and is exactly like the pictures one sees of him.
We are enjoying great weather just now, and it is certainly the best time of the year to be going to France. I have been expecting Norman here for the past week and do hope that I won't miss him. Haven't been up to London since May 24th, when I got a 2 day pass and had an awfully good time.
Is there any 1st class cricket being played this year? And who won the 'Cup' last year? I'm awfully sorry to hear from Leila, of Mrs. Herbert's death [probably Mrs. Sidney Herbert…Jack's uncle's wife]. She was so bright when I last saw her.
Well, old man, I wish I were in your shoes getting a home of your own and having something to live for. My future is absolutely a blank one. If I do get through this it will be at least 7 years before I am in a position to get married, and I suppose by that time I will have lost all my pep to look out for a wife. [note: he married 4 years later]
Remember me to your people and best wishes for a happy and successful married life is the wish of
Your sincere friend,
DON'T FORGET THE RING!!