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Date: December 22nd 1916

No 4 Reserve squad.


My Dear Mother,

Was very fortunate this week in that I got a double dose of letters. Of course one letter was delayed because it went down to Folkestone and had to come up from there. And so they opened one of my letters, eh. Well they wouldn't get much of national import out of my scribble. Had some very fair weather for two or three days past. Today was very fine indeed. I would like to have gone up for a flip today but unfortunately I am still a little ahead of the others so he told me to stay on the ground a little longer. I have only 40 minutes more to do until I get my ticket, not my wings you know, far from that, but just a step nearer the goal. My ticket entitles me to a membership in the Royal Aero Society, some gink eh? My next move is to get onto a higher instruction. They have much better machines and much faster too.

Now this is for Father and Em. I don't quite understand what the argument was but we have to do some 20 hours solo flight, that is 20 hours by ourselves, not all in one flight. It is quite impossible to do this at the present time. The machines only carry petrol to last 3 hours, using from 8?10 gals per hour. However I see by the paper that some Swede is about to attempt to cross the Atlantic in 20 hours, but his chief difficulty will be in carrying petrol and oil. So I hope I shall come in for $2.50 on the deal whichever way it goes.

Yes Mr and Mrs Reade are very good to us both. I am glad Alf goes there as often as he does. They will look after him alright. And by the way I have not heard from the boy since he was on his leave. He got the money O.K. and also a little bit from me too. So I think he had a good time alright. It does take such a long time to get a letter over and a reply, doesn't it. I mean your letter today was the first I have rec'd direct. And I have been here well over a month too. But I may stay right on here, only go to a different squadron in the same aerodrome. But I will let you know about that as soon as I know.

I am glad to get the Sparling boy's address. I did have a most miserable note from Roy Sparling a long time ago but it was so short that he didn't even give his address. I imagine he is now in France. Please give Mrs Sparling my love when you write and I will try to write to her and Morley when I get time. I know I am too late to offer Xmas greetings but I always am. However do accept my very kindest wishes for a very merry Xmas and a Happy New Year to all under such favourable conditions. But please do not worry a bit and we will both feel so much better if you all go in and have a good time.

Lots of love to all the family and kindest regards and a merry Xmas to Miss Smith.

Loving son

Original Scans

Original Scans