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Date: June 16th 1918

Sunday, 16 June, 1918 The same place


My dear mother,

I found your welcome parcel awaiting me in the cubby hole when I arrived back at 2am this morning after doing a little job elsewhere and I opened it this morning. The goodies have arrived quite safely, the ginger cake was a bit broken but none the worse for that of course. Then there was some chocolate, sweet food, thirst quenchers, tinned fruit and a magazine; these things are absolutely posh and with the [?] will go down A1; it is ever so good of you to send me such "bon" stuff. The envelopes have just arrived in the nick of time as I used my last envelope yesterday and should have had to go round scrounging for some but for this good luck. Best of all was your letter, I simply couldn't go without these. You manage to make all the ordinary news so [?] every time.

You speak of having no summer holiday this year but my opinion is that you and Dad need a change and should have a holiday by all means. You will feel ever so much better for the rest and it would help take your thoughts away from everything connected with the rotten old war (of course, I'm something to do with the war) and if I can I'll get back to "Blighty" and have a holiday with you. Wouldn't it be fine? I am sorry to hear that fruit is so scarce, even if you couldn't have made jam you could have bottle some and now you can't get that. Our jam ration isn't as bad out here. Usually we have a two pound pot per day between twelve men. The letter incident is amusing; I'll bet Cyril was indignant with our cat for its barbarity. Quite a good idea about the cycles; I bet young Nyg is as pleased as punch now that he posses a bike. I shall look forward to a ride with him sometime this summer; in the mean time tell him not to go running tracker engines and trams over. It should be unnecessary for me to remind you that war certs for me should only be purchased when all expenses have been met. I know quite well how expensive house keeping is and my parcels eat a good deal into my official pay.

On Friday night Jerry gave us a firework display which I am sure quite beats the pre-war "[?] Benefit". Red lights, green, white, flares, golden arcs and divers other lights were sent up, some bursting in single balls of colour and others disintegrating into smaller globules. He had got the wind up about something and so he sent us a few shells which succeeded in giving one lucky bloke a nice "Blighty". So much for Jerry's "strafes".

Yesterday I spent resting during the day as usual. I don't know whether I told you or not but I am safe in Reserve Lines about four hundred yards behind the last lines.

It doesn't seem a bit like Sunday today, it is about half past two now and I guess you are all in the garden resting and my thoughts are with you.

Given my love to dad and the boys.

With fondest love and xxxxxxx

from Bert