In a dugout
Friday. June 30th 1916
My dearest Mother
As you see from the headline I am back "in the line". Orders were suddenly changed last night and up we came. If this paper should be dirty you must excuse it, as it's only part of me because I am never anything else but dirty when in these dugouts for it's impossible for anyone to keep clean under such "circs".
It's a disgusting shame that we were not given a bath before coming up here for we were in camp a fortnight after our last bath and those in charge were so keen to give us squad drill that they forgot all about health essentials, so the consequence is we are as lousy, as it's possible to be already and we have only been here one night. I wish they would get to business and not be so blessed ceremonial around here.
Now I've had my little grouse I'll proceed.
It's still cold and wet around these parts and I understand you have it much the same over in "Blighty". One could almost believe it was the1st of January tomorrow instead of July. I was delighted to get your extra letter last night but the cause of your writing made me smile. You were a little previous in thinking I should get my leave so soon for you really must wait a bit yet for lots of things happen on this job to stop that. Sometime all leave ceases for days at a time for reasons quite unknown so you really must not expect me till you see me. Cheer-up.
Have you Phil's address please. Glad he is in Blighty and having a good time. Lucky beggar.
Now I must close hoping all are well and happy as I am.
Ever your very loving boy.
"There's a silver lining
Through the dark clouds shining".
We have just got a coke brazier going in this cold and damp underground dugout and my word it makes things cheerful.
Will send service cards occasionally as arranged.