In the same place resting.
Wed. Sept 27th 1916
My dearest Mother
What on earth is the matter for another three days have passed and still not a word from home? You have my exact address so I feel I cant lay the blame on the mail service and yet I cant believe you would go so long without writing. In short I can't understand it at all but it is disappointing when the mail is called and one eagerly awaits one's own name and it never comes day after day.
It is a lovely evening and I'm lying on the grass outside the YM tent instead of sitting at one of the tables inside. They are clearing up inside ready for a concert in ½ hrs time. So I thought I'd fill in the interim by writing to you.
I am still resting but I suppose it wont be for much longer and as the concert is about to start I guess this letter won't be much longer.
This note I know is short but just keep in touch although at present I feel very out of touch never mind says I, I'll get some mail someday.
With my very best love
Ever your loving boy
Thurs. Sept 28th.
Could not get this in last night and so am able to answer your long looked for letter just received on the end of yesterdays home thoughts.
How delighted I was when I got yours just now but very sorry to know the reason of the silence was your illness but am glad to know you are now better. Poor old Ma!
In answer to your question I reply "no thanks" nothing doing. They are quite independent of other troops and I believe they come from the rolling main, but am not quite sure. In a day or two I shall meet some of them again and find out.
Awfully sorry for the Colleotts in their bereavement. How hard this business is on those at home. We out here get so hardened and accustomed to that term "killed in action" that we often fail to realise its full and terrible significance to those who live at home.
Glad to hear you had a good time at Canterbury with and (worst luck for him) without Percy. Poor beggar I guess I know how his work never seems to end. You certainly had an insight into how we carry outside army parade hours. I was at a YM concert last night and sang three times, being somewhat well received, but of course it was a much smaller affair than that which you attended. It was arranged impromptu between our Company and the Motor Transport people stationed in that particular village. This morning we left that spot of peace and quietness and are now in hearing of the "man thunder" again.
We are billeted in a wood now and soon are going for a bath and get some clean clothes in a near by village. This will be a special blessing for we haven't had anything clean for a month and are absolutely walking. It's a vile complaint but being all alike we only laugh and go on scratching.
We are out in France and doing our bit
Trying to smash up the Huns
But wherever we go our most troublesome foe
Is not old Fritz and his guns
It is the dugout friend our shirts entice
Those horrid abominable little lice.
There's some more verses but they aren't yet complete so will leave them for now.
To return to your letter. I went to a church social hour in England and had a very fine time I remember and it was very similar to the one you mention at Canterbury. Mine was in Southampton or the place we all have a warm feeling for because we were so well received and sent off by the populace. T'is a joke place.
I should like to see old Stan on that bike and I hope he won't do what I did on the same machine when I charged down Hillcrest into Harvey's brick wall. Remember it? I do!
Now for the bath and pay parade afterwards. Hurrah!
Ever your loving boy
Look out for "Whiz bangs" which I will send from the line.
Parcel just arrived. Thanks very much. I'm back from bath and feel like a new pin. The pears are an awful mess. Still I like them. I haven't gone deeper into the parcel. The cake is all right and solid. Hurrah it's all dandy. Heard from Ray. He is preparing to come down here so I may see him. Hope so!