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Date: September 19th 1916

In a bivouac on a wide plain.
Tues. Sept 19th 1916

My dearest Mother

At last I have the time and the convenience to write this letter, which I have been longing to for several days. Truth to tell I have just come out of Hell! Where I have been for a short time compared with the trench trips before. We indeed had a rough time this trip and I'm more than thankful to be out safe and sound again. This about all I can tell you concerning my recent experiences. We are back now on an extensive plain which is covered from end to end with our fellows and their war junk and it is a great sight.

I received Father's letter while in the shell hole we were occupying and one from Aunt Edith and I was indeed glad of both but your parcel and accompanying letter I received on arrival in camp. The pillow is a lovely one and the very kind I wanted. It is a great comfort.

Now we are living in the open entirely (I mean we bivouac continually) and the nights are very cold (wet as well for last two days) and I am sadly in need of several things, which I want you to get as quickly as you possibly can. The first is a woollen balaclava cap that will undo and come down over head near chin etc - you know the kind. Good warm and thick but not too bulky. The next is a sweater coat buttoning down the front - warm but not too heavy. Both articles to be of a brown or khaki colour. Socks I also want but how to explain to you the kind I want is beyond me now, for I've described it over and over again and yet you still send the kind that clot together and hurt the feet when only half through a march. Grey, thick, warm and woollen!! Got it now! Please send a pair in each weekly parcel from now on. Now I guess you feel I'm asking a lot but there will be a remittance coming to you soon of a size worth having. I'll dispatch it in about a fortnight from now. I ask one more favour from Pa this time. Some Francs will be more than appreciated by the time they arrive. Register the letter as its safer and just as quick.

Well, when is the war going to end? I believe we are mighty near it we seem to have Fritz properly done in here. By the way, I saw a live (but wounded) Fritz when up the line this trip and he was the first I've ever set eyes on since being out here. That's hard to believe eh! but it's quite true and you know very well I'm not a bomb …. who never goes near the line! It was quite a sensation for me I can tell you and I saw more than one such prisoners. I have been under some shellfire in, days gone bye but down here Oh! my word. How annoying the smoke is, and those showers of mud after a burst - most aggravating to get into our fresh made tea and fried bacon. Yes that's the comic side but the other side is best left unsaid.

Please don't keep the bread pudding too long before you send it in future for the last two times parts have arrived with a greenish hue.

When Ina's brother arrived unexpectedly from Canada that afternoon it certainly must have reminded you of my similar arrival.

Now I must stop and flounder through the mud to tea.
Your very loving boy,
Jack. Did you get the brooch?