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Date: May 3rd 1916
Jack Beck

"Braeside" 21 Windsor Road
Doncaster. England.
May 3, 1916.

My dear Gertrude.

A letter from you on Monday - dated April 16th. As you suppose I never received yours of the previous Sunday. I never saw anything in our papers about mail being destroyed because of infection. They are more strict about anything like that these war day - there would be so few Doctors here to fight any epidemic. In ordinary times I should think they would only disinfect the mail.

I can quite understand that Mr. Hayne would want to call and have a talk with you. He could hardly have an opportunity at the time of the classes to fully understand your position, and adults are often held back from going up for confirmation merely through nervousness or other inadequate reasons. You would doubtless go to the Confirmation Service to help the other members of the Class to that extent.

Yes "Hope" must have been a misprint or rather mis-script for "Rob" as we as often as not call Robin. I have the bad habit of never reading through my letters to make corrections.

Yes, I know Mrs Syd on the Suffragette question - you don't want to take her too seriously.

I am very sorry to hear of Mr. Aldous' trouble. I only hope it proves to be less serious than she thinks. It would be rather a helpless family without her and worse if she was to be laid up. However the children are growing up now. Phyllis must be quite a big girl.

The parcel arrived quite safely. Thanks very much for the socks. Poppy was delighted with her second towel. I don't know if she has written her thanks yet or not.

We had our first "Zepp" alarm for sometime on Tuesday night. The lights went low at eleven but they never got nearer than Pontefract, although they were reported from Norfolk to Edinboro'. The chief damage seems to have been at York. Poor cottage property. Our airmen went up by the light of flares & were up till two a.m. It is said that even on a clear night Doncaster is screened with a curtain of mist. We lie in a sort of cup & the river runs through. Makes it a relaxing place in Summer but evidently it has some compensations.

Yesterday morning between 11 & 1 I cycled out to Woodlands - one of the new colliery villages, some 5 miles north of here on the Great North Road. Built in 1908-10. I had heard a lot about it but never imagined it was anything like it is or I would have been before. It is built on garden city lines. I must try to get a card or two of it if I can. The layout & the design of the houses is perfect. They are built in groups of four - each group looking like a large long house. All are in harmony but practically no repetition and the colouring is very good. There is a large park like village green near which the 3 churches are grouped - English, Wesleyian & Primitive Methodist.

On Monday we heard from Berk from Neyland - opposite Pembroke Dockyard in the West of Wales - so presumably they were enroute to Ireland. We hope they did not have to cross seeing that the rebellion is over. His going to Neyland - a small unknown village, was a very funny piece of fortune. It is Dora Button's home. & he was recognised by a young sister of her's whilst on sentry duty on Sunday. He managed to get off from 6 to 7 in the evening to go to tea with them.

On Tuesday evening we all went to see Mary Pickford on the pictures. She seems to be as popular here as in Canada & the girls had arranged a big party to go. The first time I had seen her she has certainly got a pleasing personality & is a good "picture" actress.

Last night Mr Stiles came in for the evening. Mainly for talk, varied with some gramophone records. Edgar's division have just come out of the trenches for a month's rest & he expects to get four days leave About the end of the time.

Thanks for two lots of "Gloves" which came this week.

My time is drawing to a close - three more days. As far as work goes I will be pleased to get back to it again. If I have not been conscripted before August, I will do my best to get a position somewhere for the long holidays.

Hope you are all well & have had hopeful news from Vancouver.

With best love.


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