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Date: December 13th 1917

Maresfield Park

Thursday 13/12/1917

My dear Gertrude,

Letters from you but I will wait till Sunday to reply. Also one from your Uncle Frank this evening - I wrote him last week so our letters would cross.

We have measles in camp - 3 cases so far - if it spreads to 10 cases, we will all be isolated & no Christmas leave. It will be too bad if it has to be especially after foregoing our 4 days leave two weeks ago. We should get the four days later but of course would lose the Christmas six days. However it may be stopped as all the men from the hut concerned are in quarantine.

I will enclose Alec Jackson's letter - if haply you can make it out - he is an atrocious writer as artists not infrequently are. The Clements he mentions & of course the Breithanpts [?] are Kitchener people. I wrote to Cousin Geneva on Monday - evidently Alec has not much faith in Cousin Fannie's complaints.

We just heard today that we will not have a week added to the course to make up for Christmas leave (if we get it) the extra work will have to be got in somehow. I suppose the War Office can't do with less than the regular supply of officers that the school turns out every two weeks.

I enclose a card of the Church here - a very good one I think - taken in war days you will notice but probably before the school came to the camp - as there are no Cadets in evidence but perhaps it was parade time.

I was going to give you a sketch of another of our Officers. It ought to be the Adjutant - the next most important man - as far as Discipline & Ceremonial Parades are concerned, & the Colonel Captain Groves has the requisite for his job of a good voice - as loud as thunder & as quick as lightening - as he brings out amongst others his two most usual expressions - "Keep still there" - "Don't move" & most celebrated of all "Keep those hands down" - to some poor individual who whilst we are standing at ease - put his hand up to touch his face - to move a fly on possibly. He is very keen on everything being done smartly - "try & look like a soldier for once" is another expression usually forthcoming, as we are marching - on some more special parade as Battalion parades on Saturday morning. He is a clean shaven, but rather "tubby" build man - & is said in peace time to be a Police Commissioner in the Malay Straits - if so, he is what he suggests - a lawyer - soldier - as the Malay Police are a Semi-Military body & a Commissioner is a District Magistrate as well as controller of the police of his district. A man in the late 30's or early forties probably.

I hope your foot did not continue to give you trouble it seems to have lasted painful longer tahn it should. Hope all your news is good.

With very best love.

Yours Jack.

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