July 27, 1917
Dearest Mum and Dad:
Here goes for a letter which I know you have been expecting for some time and which I could have written sooner but did not. Not long ago I had one of the old tum tum turns so consequently don't feel fit yet.
Dug and I saw and had a long talk with Frank Busteed the other day. He is just the same old Frank. He happened that he was very busy when we called on him so we couldn't walk about much. Frank soon expects to go on leave. It will be great in England at this time of year. You keep asking why I don't put in for leave. Out in France a fellow doesn't put in for leave he takes his turn according to his date of arrival and alphabetically. A man is lucky to get his leave the first fifteen months in our lot. Many wait a lot longer. I hope the war ends before my leave comes - if I have to wait sixteen months for it. It is really hard to write home as there is nothing to write about.
Last night we went on a working party near the front line. We came back in small groups. A shrapnel shell burst in one group killing four and wounding I don't know how many others. One of the fellows killed happened to be the one who was working in front of me on the working party so you can guess it brought it home pretty clearly.
I'm hanged if I can remember who this Miss P. is that Linn and you both mention. I don't remember ever seeing or meeting her. I hope Helen manages to get the school she is trying for. It will be great to be so near home. Perhaps she will in time get one a lot closer, eh?
Thanks ever so much for your parcel of a livo suit, peppermints and chewing gum. In future please send a tin of home made hard toffee will you please with every parcel. I'd rather have that simple stuff that all the bought stuff out. Thanks also for the ten francs I received yesterday.
I wrote to Albert and received a letter in return. which he told me to write again and a longer note. I must write at once.
Dug is well and takes a great interest in his work. He is always examining a bullet or shell and wants salvage anything he finds. That job in itself requires a small army of men.
Keith must be growing into quite a large husky. I would love a snap of Keith, Joan and John as I almost forget what they look like.
At this time of year a fellow can buy onions, lettuce, radishes etc. when he is near a French town so he can have a salad.
With heaps of love, I am your loving son,
(P.S. I hope Dad manages to keep his job.)
[Editor’s note: Transcription provided by collection donor.]