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Date: July 29th 1918

Letter No. 87 The same place France 29th July, 1918, Monday My dear mother, I anticipated a "few" letters yesterday and when I came off Church Parade I found quite a good budget awaiting me. Yours written a week ago, 22nd inst., Stanley's, a Troop photo from Luie, a letter from Isa, another from Dalston, Grandma Fereday, Walter, The British Weekly and Telegraph; some! I was ever so pleased to hear from you. Yes, if there is another opportunity I should very much like a better photo of you and dad. As you say Walter has done extremely well in French and Algebra; in fact he has done excellently on the whole exam considering that this is his first term at Cowper. According to Miss Beatty they are very busy at Dalston and anticipate engaging two more girls; the only male staff is the Surveyor, old "Pimple". What do you think of the enclosed letter (or part of one) from a M.W.E? Too awful isn't it? Isa gives me an account of her recent doings in orchestra land and wants me to write soon. Aren't they all too bad; but I've got a "green'un" at last and must save it until I've a few of the less urgent letters accumulated and then send off "umpteen" at once. I have just had a pleasant little interlude, reading a "tick off" letter from Mirrie and a letter abounding in spelling errors from Cyril at Westcliff. Happily the rain kept off all day yesterday; in fact the weather seems to have taken a turn for the good as the sun has been shining brilliantly all day today. Reveille was later and as Church Parade was not until 11.15 I had plenty of time for a good wash [?] etc., which I don't get on an ordinary wash day. The service was held in the open and was conducted by a Nonconformist padre whom I have not seen before. He was not quite as good as Rev. Bohn, but his address was interesting and did me a power of good. After dinner I went out under the trees and wrote a letter to Mr. Waller; a Wimbledon fellow who has just joined the Batt kept me company and amused me greatly with the letters he receives from various "birds". Poor chap, he doesn't know which to settle on. I felt like something extra for tea so I had two poached eggs which were A.1. I am quite expert at cooking eggs over an improvised cooker consisting of a cigarette tin, a broken candle and a piece of sacking as the wick. There was no service being held in this village in the evening so I went over to the YMCA tent at P--- where one was to take place at 7pm. I sat next to an American "doughboy" and we got talking together. First we discussed the address which was a very well thought out and unusual aspect of prayer - which by a coincidence was the same subject as that taken by the padre in the morning. This led him to speak of the work of the YMCA in America where it seems it was much more popular before the war than in England. Each city or township subscribes to the erection of a building which among the Christian circles centres as their club; and jolly fine establishments they must be too. He wants to come to London when on furlough and is trying to find some relations in the U.K. He is a splendid chap and was so pleased at our meeting that he gave me his name and address and asked me to look him up again before he goes up the line on Thursday. I wish I could think all the Americans were like him, they are a very mixed crowd, naturally, as the Conscription Law is no respector of persons. Thus ended another pleasant Sunday. I have been most lucky - I've only spent one Sunday in the line. Now I must say au revoir for a little while. With heaps of love and xxxxxxx from old Bertlam