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Date: May 22nd 1916
Jack Beck

Forncett St. Peter.
May 22, 1916

My dear Gertrude,

A wet Monday - or rather Monday afternoon - as it was fine until one oclock. The first break to a full week of ideal weather. It has been getting warmer & warmer & was unpleasantly so this morning.

I ought to be on field duty this afternoon but Cooke is taking it for me in exchange for looking after they boys for him for the walk between Church & dinner yesterday - he had Saturday off but found a friend on leave from the trenches was to be in Norwich for Sunday only so Mr. Phillips, Miss Chew & I shared his duty. The walk was awfully hot & after dinner, the boys were allowed to be about in part of the garden on their rugs and read. It was too hot for moving about so I joined them - had a fairly cool time stretched under the shade of a copper [?] with a glorious [?] in full bloom in front in a clump of red chestnuts & beeches. I wrote to Mother on my only sheet of paper, so having a good excuse for not doing or rather starting your letter, I had a lazy time, talking a little to some of the boys & reading by fits & starts some of R.L.S's "Master of Ballantrae".

The boys went in at 4 to write their letters home and I prepared to seek some tea at St. Peters at 4.30 when Mr. P. appeared from a far corner of the garden & asked me to join them in the open air for tea - which of course I did with great pleasure. He appeared with a big bible under his arm - his finger in the place he had been reading. He is one of the few who keeps up the old fashioned rule of devoting the whole afternoon to Bible reading.

Had a very pleasant tea which he had to leave early to walk over with the boys to evening service at St. Peters. I biked over later but sat with the boys. had intended going to one of the neighbouring villages but heat was too much. By the way, yesterday was of course our first day under the new light up. As a result we had supper at 9 without the lamps. It was so warm later that we all adjourned to the lawn for the evening talk.

To-day I felt getting up more than yesterday, and when I left Mr. Black had not stirred at all. Fortunately I set my alarm so was at St. Mary's punctually at 7.40.

Saturday I was of course on duty and had a game at cricket. On Friday night I had another game at tennis but our new time will be big help in that as with school not over till six - one can't possibly begin till seven at the earliest.

Mrs. Blake's bees swarmed for the first time this season yesterday. She has several hives and her honey is said to be quite celebrated locally.

A letter from you last Friday. Glad you got Ian's pin safely.

You have evidently been quite industrious with the china but with summer coming on swimming and the garden and verandah will probably be more profitable place & means of putting in your time than the studio.

I suppose from what you say about the China that May Sibbald is going west after all.

I think I must be gaining weight too. According to my medical inspection at Norwich I was 119 lbs.(with clothes on but bare footed). It will be alright if you keep the Berlin Library photos or put them in my box.

If sugar is 10c a lb. with you, I don't think it is much dearer here only the grocers will not sell it alone - only with tea. 1 lb with a ¼ lb of tea I think. At home they are saving it my the lb. for jam making in the fruit season.

I have had no further word yet as to my application to the Tribunal but should do so this week.

Berkely has been in the Military Hospital at Queenstown after all but when he wrote home had just been put on ordinary diet & hope to rejoining his Battalion at of course he did not know where forth with.

Mother & Auntie Kate had been having a day's shopping in Sheffield to make up for the day they did not have whilst I was at home.

Ian has moved from Beverly & is in camp six miles Bredlington.

Berk says it makes him wild to see the hundreds of strong Irish young me, who are to be seen everywhere - who have never enlisted.

I have got a photo of the School property at Lowestoft, after the bombardment which I must send on.

Time I was in School. Must close hurriedly. With best love


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