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Date: May 16th 1918
Jack Beck

Thursday. May 16, 1918

My dear Gertrude,

I believe this is the first time I have used this pad which Aunt Kate bought me when I was on leave. I am writing this in my room so will make use of it. No more letters from you yet but a big bunch of papers which I have been reading with interest, find it easy to enjoy them at odd moments between work. Whilst telephoning etc. Had letters from Mother & Berk to-day. He has been passed fit again & leaves hospital on Saturday or Tuesday. I am doubtful about getting leave to see him but must try. It looks as if I will probably get attached to one of the new batteries this weekend. as their recruits are due in, to begin training on Monday & a lot of us are to be put with them. As a battery has eight weeks training before going overseas, we stand a good chance of remaining with them if once attached - which would no doubt please both you and Mother. But being newly attached will make leave a difficult matter.

Mother must be having splendid weather for Harrogate if it is anything like ours here. With Berk going home she will not of course stay the extra week - & I am afraid she will not enjoy it so much later should she return there, if he has meanwhile gone overseas again. However I am glad she has had these few weeks free from present anxiety.

Our weather has set in excessively hot, another good reason for Mother to be in Harrogate as it is always bracing there. Doncaster is very trying indeed in summer time & Poppy will be finding it very trying for her return to work, her office being very exposed.

I think I told you I had heard from Frank Robertson, I will enclose it to you as it is both interesting & a good example of letter writing. I occasionally write a good letter but am usually far too careless I & have an exceedingly bad habit of very rarely rereading my sentences after writing them.

It looks as if he was expecting to go out again, unless he is transferring to some other branch of the service.

Had a letter on Monday from Jackson my New York friend - very flourishing these days & overworked as all engineers are. Have also done a little letter writing myself this week - to Harold Brown the Howland Avenue boy - & Gordon Bennett.

Finished "Freckles" this evening - enjoyed it in many parts but it made me very impatient in others. Both "Freckles and The Angel are quite good & very interesting characters without having so much sentiment spilt over them - or occasionally having to do such impossible things.


Was not able to get at this at all yesterday evening. One of our batteries left this morning, & after dinner, which of itself ran past nine o'clock - including some toasts, there was an impromptu sing-song in the anti-room.

By this morning's post came letters from Gordon Bennett & Ian. The former as badly written as usual but more news in it than normally, the latter not overburdened with news.

I will enclose you Mother's letter. By the way I hope you will tell me if you ever have to pay excess postage on any of my letters. I am sometimes tempted to risk them when they are a little too bulky. I don't think there is the slightest ground for Mother's fears about Ian. Of course he might get sent over to a sedentary job at the base but very much doubt that.

Mother always has an idea that she spoils snapshots she is in, but I don't think she has much grund for her fancy.

Mrs Stainsby keeps a boarding house - where we all stayed as a family one Easter for two weeks. A long time ago because I remember the Spanish American War was in full swing at the time. Four of us stayed there later - Berk & I, with Morris Thompson & Martin Robinson about 1900 & made her house our headquarters for daily cycle tours.

Monday is [?] Monday - usually one of the big public Holidays of the year. But I don't suppose thre will be many to take it this year. We will probably have no parades after noon.

Excessively hot today - am glad we had not to go thro' our Maresfield Course in Summer - it was often uncomfortably cold in winter but one can keep a little warm if only in bed - it is difficult to keep cool however. & hard to rivet ones attention to close study in the heat. This is I believe a healthy country but it is certainly a sleepy one in hot weather. Am going on the river after dinner if the rank & file have not collared all the canoes, - am beginning to regret that I did not slip dinner & go directly from tea or direct now from finishing this.

My excuse for stopping has come.

Hope all is going well with all about you & with you.

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