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Date: May 11th 1916
Jack Beck

Forncett St. Peter
May 11, 1916.

My dear Gertrude.

Here I am again. Had a safe journey down on Monday. Arriving as usual at about six thirty in the evening. Picked up one boy at Ely on my way & two more at Norwich.

When I got to Mrs. Blake's I found a letter from you - which had arrived on Saturday - your first one addressed to Forncett so it was just timed right. A second one came the next morning so I have two to answer.

I had better do that first. Your first one was in answer to my first holiday letter - a big gap of time is covered by a reply to a letter across the Atlantic in these days.

Oh no, I would never put down an expression such as "trunking" as slang, simply a local use - but "hope-box" I should say was decidedly slang & I should think American not Canadian.

I hope all will go well with the expected events of September and October next & that Don's wish for a sister may be gratified. You could hardly hold back from going west under the circumstances if it is at all possible to go.

Am glad the Hogue interview passed off alright, I was sure it would. I think when I first saw Mr. Phillips, his appearance was suggestive of Mr. Hogue to me.

After your account of his absent minded-ness, they are evidently alike in other ways, I should say.

I am glad to hear that Frank has not had much Sunday work to do, it gives him a chance to have a good weekly rest, or as much of it as Helen and Co will allow.

From what I have observed, the remarks you make about Mrs. Watson & her carefulness over money matters, is generally applicable to all Welsh people, Although when I come to think of it, I don't know that Dora Bulton is particularly given that way - certainly not in some ways, but I think even in her case, it would be true on the whole.

Thanks for Mrs. Marshall's letter from Dawson City. Quite a good one & very interesting.

I am not sure if I knew before that Mr. James had been a Methodist - I rather fancy I did hear it a long time ago but I had quite forgotten it.

I am afraid there is no general impression here that the war will be over for more than a year yet - it is the men who come back from the front who bring the opinion of an earlier finish & there undoubtedly is such a feeling in the French Trenches. Unfortunately the men in the trenches know less of the larger issues of the war than we do her. The very improbable might happen yet.

Meanwhile I have joined the Army Reserve at last. I was waiting till I got back here - so as to do it in Norwich & so been near for going before any Tribunals etc. - for exemption until July 31st. I would really as soon go at once, only it would be a very great inconvenience to the school if I did.

I went over to Norwich yesterday afternoon and once again went through a complete medical examination. My eye test was of course the same but they are taking all men with sound eyes now - the government provide glasses for short sight. As yet I have not received my car so don't know what class I am in Medically - but received a full days pay plus living allowance & was transferred at once to the Army Reserve for 30 days, after which I will have to present myself for service if not exempted in the meanwhile.

We have had two wet days & begin term with - but yesterday & today very summerlike. The foliage here is wonderful - more advanced than up North.

There are 8 new boys and none have left so our numbers are up to 39 - a considerable improvement.

I must close - writing this at my open cottage casement window between 2 & 4 oclock - being my off-duty day.

Best wishes to you all & best love to you.


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