In a YM tent
Fri. Oct 6th 1916
My dearest Allen
Just a few lines to you before I answer Mother's letter to wish you many happy returns of the 8th and you can ask Pa for 5/- from my money to do what you like with and get whatever thing you may want. I'll switch off. Bye-bye.
My dearest Mother
I received your letter on reaching camp last night from a trip in the line. Oh! Isn't it Hell, up there!! I want to forget it now so I'm not talking about it here in this letter. Mud, mud, mud, heavy loads, miles to go and shells!! There it is!! A drying wind is blowing today and working marvels. Thank goodness for those who are still up there. Mud is our horror for although fagged out with pulling your feet out of it one has to carry on with everything else just the same but a wound we dread less for one is immediately relieved from duty and there's the added glamour of positively reaching Blighty. Well I didn't intend to talk about it but I have a little. Now let me answer your beautiful letter.
Yes, I have heard from Ray and intend to answer it this morning following this. So George Bishop is out now Eh! and I see he's bomb proof or practically so. I sometimes wish I was in a similar outfit. His sort of artillery is always heavy stuff and therefore a long way back.
I'm eagerly awaiting Aunt Rosie's parcel for that's always a lovely big one but of course your weekly one is better because it comes every week. This one from Aunt makes the fourth from that source since I came out.
Oh! Regarding the balaclava cap. Those sleeping helmets are the very thing I want. I forgot I left one at home, or I wouldn't have taken up space with an elaborate description. I want one like it only not so tight.
I'm glad to hear of Percy. He is in luck to be sure, at the seaside, great prospects of a far better job (understand) and still in England where I sincerely hope he'll have the sense to stay.
Who were the people who asked after me whom you thought never knew me. Rather interesting that?
So Stan has made a start at the Piano Eh! Well I hope he doesn't come to the ground between two stools like I did. Good luck to him.
What about the Army and Allen? I guess he'll get a notice now he is 18 Eh! Naturally I hope he wont be accepted for any form of work and don't suppose he will. Still he'll have to go up I expect.
Now I must stop and get back to dinner. At present we are living in an old dugout used when the line was nearer by miles than it is now and we are pretty comfortable in it (when there's no mud)
Best love and lots of kisses.
Your ever-loving boy,