31 July, 1918 Wednesday
M---, Somme, France
Letter No. 89
My dearest mother,
Last night when I came in I found the letter you wrote last Wednesday evening, 24th inst., awaiting me. I was, as always, ever so pleased to get it and hear all the latest "home official" news. Re: "C" papers, the next step is to see Col. Segrave DSO - our CO - and as I am at the wing I shall not have this opportunity for a week or so. The gingers were naturally not very crisp but they were jolly fine nevertheless. Grandma's cake, which was a very nice one disappeared last Sunday; I am keeping the chocolate. I was sorry to hear that Grandma "F" was up to her tricks again when you went to Hazlewood Lane, but as you say the whole trouble arises out of her not being able to do anything. I had my first letter from her last Sunday; I must give a tactful and, let us hope, helpful reply. Yes, I am sorry for poor old "J" too; it would be very much better if he could get "fixed up" - but he is so eccentric in matters of that kind!
Yesterday morning I was on parade as usual drilling, "jerking" and doing LG drill. It was very hot and I was glad when I got back to the billet. It is usual to have the afternoon off, but that was not to be yesterday for we had a medical and kit inspection which frittered away the time. Instead of having eggs for breakfast when there is no time to cook them, I have had a couple for tea everyday; new laid eggs are half a frank (about 4d) - not too bad!
In the evening I decided to go over and see my American acquaintance - James M. Davidson - and Stanfield came with me. I found him in camp, comprising hundreds of bell tents and smaller bivouacs. He showed me all his equipment which is a very sensible one; in addition to rifle and bayonet they carry short daggers for hand to hand fighting. The American people cannot send parcels to their boys over here and a letter which was posted to Davidson on June 20th arrived last night - nearly six weeks; what a long time! I spoke to several other Americans there and they are naturally a very cheerful and optimistic lot - all absolutely certain of being home at Christmas '18 and the war won. I hope they keep this ideal in view when they get after old "Fritz". Certainly the outlook is very much more hopeful and the "doughboys" are right up to expectations. His company is going up the line tomorrow for four days and he asked me to look him up when he came back, which I shall certainly do. They don't get much to read in the way of books, so any I have read I can pass to Davidson.
I hope that Dad and all the boys are keeping quite well; also Grandma and "Cookey".
Now I must say goodbye for a little while. With heaps of love from you very affectionate, Dinkey xxxxxxxx