May 12 1917
Hello Jess, "I see you", (in my dreams) Gee but its hot over here in France. Sunny France is right every since I hit it. I got your letter of the 5th last night which is the first I have had from anyone for nearly 8 week, Im getting used to it but all the same it is lonely without em & it makes one careless about writing. I haven't written a line for over a week, thats the worst Ive done yet, but as I guess you get em in a lump it does not matter so very much. The real reason for my not writing is that I have been up the line for a few days & had not much time for writing. I have had my first taste of shell fire & I believe we got more than a taste for the old boys say this time was about the stiffest yet. I had a fine time the first night for they dropped them round us pretty fast & I did not know enough to know it was anything but normal. However I got through OK We are out on rest for a few days. I hope to be just as lucky next time in, but say you never know what it is like until you get into it & though it is a regular Hell on earth I would not have missed it for anything & had others tell about & not know for myself. I expect it will take some hard scrapping yet but we'll get them They give up pretty freely & sometimes even come across to be taken.
Harold Hoskins was killed this last time & Fred King wounded. Fred was only in France a few hours when he got hit in the arm. Bobby Leech was buried a few times but always came to the surface again. He has some thrilling narratives to tell you bet. He says he will write you folks one of these days as he owes a letter. Smith is O.K. so far & so is Percy Hoskins. The Shirwoods are not in it yet. Ed Lochard is in this Batt & so was Lou but he was wounded. I saw Ed today.
This is a lovely place for a camp right in a bush about 8 miles from the line. The thing I miss is candy etc as it is scarce over here & what there is is a frightful price. I got your parcel with the socks & chocolate both of which were very acceptable.
Well Jess its supper time so I guess Ill quit & go for mine write again soon & often & be good to mither even if you do miss a dance or two.