Friday July 26, 1918
The same place
Letter No 85
My dear old Dad,
I have just received the letter that you wrote last Sunday, 21st and with it the photos. I was ever so pleased to get the photos they are ever so good. Unfortunately the "snap" of you and mother in the drawing room is rather dark; what good reason I have to remember that particular corner. Henry looks very "dicky" in bed, doesn't he? I hope he is quite strong again now. Walter's photo is splendid - doesn't look as if the war is giving him the dumps.
(Saturday) Since writing the above I have made another move for the good and am now in a village about eight or nine miles from the line - but more about this later.
The other groups are very good indeed. Uncle Bert looks a good deal better than he did. When did he take the photos?
I was glad to hear that Mr. Morden had been to 117. How does he seem to be getting on?
Even if I do get home for commission I shall not be in Blighty until September the earliest and perhaps not until October - wouldn't it be "posh" if I could get back for Oct 26?
So Cookey is on her travels again. Does the gunner expect to be at Bedford long? Poor old "J" in the volunteers - I'll bet he isn't half "cursing" in his way. I am very pleased you have not been examined yet and hope that you won't be called upon yet awhile.
There wasn't not much doing on the sector I have just left; all the activity which was not much, was on our side when a few succesful raids and reconnaissance were carried out. From one trench where I was for a couple of days [censored] shall nearly all day. I could [censored] standing. The houses are gradually being razed to the ground. It just gave one an idea of the work that will have to be done after the war to rebuild these towns most of which are smashed beyond hope of repair.
Yesterday I was on parade at 9am and went down on the range to fire the Lewis Gun and for rifle firing. LG firing is jolly good sport. We usually fire at tins and tell by the earth that is thrown up behind them whether the firing is good. Just before dinner it began to pour with rain and continued on and off all the afternoon.
I was in the middle of the letter when the Serg of 7 platoon came to me at 3.15 and told me to parade in full marching order at 4pm to proceed to the Div Wind at M---. Of course there was a "hell" of a rush and a hasty au revoir to Stuart and before I knew where I was I was camping here. And here I must leave the narration for a while.
Give my fondest love to mother and the boys.
All good wishes from your most affectionate son