Behind the lines in France
Monday morning, 15 July, 1918
My dearest mother,
I spent yesterday in very much the same way as the last few Sundays. Reveille was at eight o'clock and breakfast nine and between this time and 11.30 I had a good clean up. This was the time for our N.C. service which was held in a big loft over a large building utilised as an aid post of the Field Ambulance. Our padre was in good form and gave a very helpful address. After the service he asked Stuart and I to wait for him and we went for a stroll. I gave him the Quad Magazine to read as it is a particularly interesting one he read it during the afternoon and thought Mr. Bricley's sermon excellent. He thought that the Quadrant was rather pampering Dr. C. Morgan. Personally I object to the idea of a bookstall being put up in the vestibule especially if the Dr has an interest in the books and I think it worth while to draw attention to this irregularity which must be relevant to others beside myself.
In the afternoon I made myself comfortable in Stuart's billet and wrote some letters and had a lazy time generally.
After tea - when I had read my post (I had a letter from you dated 8th, a letter from Luie and one from Mr. Morden), I dug up Jerry and we both went to the "Choral Evensong" held in a barn in "Rue Baillon". The place was lit with candles and there was a goodly crowd which made the service all the more enjoyable. The padre had raked out a number of officers and altogether about ten attended. I walked back to the house where the padre was billeted and for the first time learned his name. Rev. J.C.A. Bohn C.F late of Tynmouth. He used to be a Civil Servant before going to New College. He studied at King's School and knew Mr. Braginton well; he was surprised to hear that Mr. B should still be in office.
I turned in at 9.30pm and being pretty tired soon fell fast asleep.
Mr. Morden's letter was very interesting. He and his wife have been obliged to move to Crouch End to be near the office - "Maudy" is now at Hornsey Survey - his address is now 92 Denton Road, Crouch End, N8. He finds a great deal of work to do and unfortunately has had gastritis and indigestion for a long time. They go to Ferne Pk Baptist church (Rev. Chas. Brown); now that they are in North London they will be able to hear Dr. Campbell Morgan.
I was ever so glad to get your interesting letter yesterday, but sorry to hear that you had to return home earlier than anticipated. Fancy all of the home folk getting the flu like that; it seems to have attacked everybody nearly. Yes, our airmen are getting very dextrous in piloting planes; I see many exhibitions of their skill when they do the real business. I wonder why Uncle John tries to "kid" me that he will have to join up if he is so sure of getting exemption on business grounds.
I don't think there is any need for me refrain from telling you that I am going up tonight to occupy some reserve trenches about three or four miles from the front line. The sector is exceptionally quiet so I expect to have a jolly good time. You asked me to tell you when I was going up next time and I have acceded to your request on the condition that you won't worry - you know as well as I do that there is absolutely nothing to worry about. I am looking forward to heaps of letters, although I shall not be able to write many; if you see Bert C remind him that he owes me a letter.
Well, I think this is all the news up to last night - I shall write again tomorrow and be able to tell you more of the place I am going to.
So until then, goodbye,
With fondest love and xxxxx
from your affectionate