Shoreham Camp, Sussex, England
Tuesday night after a perfectly beautiful day. The channel was as blue as the paintings you see of the Mediterranean. It is nine o’clock now and as soon as I get this finished it will be time to turn in. I have just come off duty having been on telegraph, or rather telegram, delivery since one thirty this afternoon; a fatigue for the Camp P.O which we regularly supply. It isn’t a bad job because you get the morning off or, if you’re on the morning shift from seven till two P.M. the rest of the afternoon. What you have to do is simply deliver telegrams to various orderly rooms around the camp and, as there are six men on the job, you don’t have to go out very often. The chafts are still sticking around. We have all been issued with infantry parts and are ready to go but there is a persistent rumour going to rounds that such a fuss has been raised in Canada about the transference of large numbers of troops from various branches of the service to the infantry that the transference is going to be stopped. I’ll be disappointed in some ways if we don’t go for I fear that I’m not going to be able to go to France and there might be a chance of me getting some useful work to do if I could only get away from this unit. The [?] drafts are doing all the duties at present. Twice last week I was on the P.O. fatigue and one day I was one of the cycle orderlies at Headquarters.
This letter was delayed till to day because Sunday we gave the camp a great cleaning up in preparation for an inspection by General Turnes. The inspection didn’t come off but the camp won’t be any the worse for its overhauling. We were busy nearly all day after the church parade, scrubbing tables and floors, picking up match sticks and doing an enormous amount of work part of which was useful and part of which was of no earthly use whatever.
Did I tell you that I was corresponding at long int events with Beryl Cooke? She sent me a very nice photograph the other day which I shall send home. She has a brother over here who is a captain in one of the forestry battalions I think. No letters from home came this week but a star weekly arrived. One of the finest poems which the war has produced was reprinted in it “Into Battle” by Julien Gunfell. Have any of you read the poem? One or two of Rupert Brooke’s sonnets are the only things I have come across which are in the same class.
Haven’t been in Brighton for nearly two weeks as I have been feeling rather tired lately. There is an old piano in the canteen here and sometimes in the evenings I bang at it for a little while. The fellows seem to enjoy it tremendously and it is gratifying to be able to give them a little pleasure. There is usually a concert at the Y.M.C.A every night but I have never gone as the building is always crowded and the surroundings so unpleasant as to take away nearly all the enjoyment you might get from the performance.
Dorland’s commission papers were returned from the War Office on account of being improperly filled out. They have to be sent to Canada to get the proper recommendations. Won’t say a word to anybody about his plans as he doesn’t want them known until his transfer actually comes through. “Lights out” will be blowing in a minute so I must stop,
With much love,