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Date: December 31st 1916

Royal Flying Corps,


Dear Father,

If I hurry I shall be able to get one more letter home this year. On Friday I just got a card written because I wanted it to get off on the mail which was just closing.

As you see by the address I have left Northolt. I finished up my preliminary instruction in flying there on Saturday morning. They did not waste much time about it either as I left the aerodrome in the afternoon. Had tea and dinner with my chum and then he went home and I came on here.

I don't very often get a fit of the blues but I sure have them today. Such a place to come to I never heard of. It is away up in Yorkshire, near Richmond and about 22 miles from Harrogate. It is absolutely out in the country and about 235 miles from London.

Today I feel very rotten. Of course I had a long day yesterday, did some very hard flying, terribly bumpy, and no one else in our flight would stay up. Then I ran around town all afternoon and evening and traveled from 11:30 P.M. till about 9:30 this morning when I reached the aerodrome. I had two or three changes to make in the night and did not sleep well at all. Then to make matters worse I developed a sharp pain in the chest and imagined I had pleurisy. So when I got off the train for one of my changes at 6 A.M. I went to a hotel and had a Dr come in and examine me. He made a thorough examination and said my lungs were O.K. but that I had a bad attack of muscular rheumatism. Now why in creation I should have muscular rheumatism I don't know, but I was glad it was not my lungs. When I arrived here today I went to the M. O. and he examined me and said the same thing. So I guess I am alright. It is down in my arm now and it is rather hard to write. I hope it soon goes away as it will make it awkward flying.

None of my friends are up here and I only know one chap here. He is a Canadian I met down at Shorncliffe. The rest of the outfit do not impress me much, but there are probably some among them O.K. I was very sorry indeed to leave all my old friends as we have had some very good times together, started together in Oxford last September and have been good friends ever since.

The accommodation here is not what one would call impressive. I can make myself comfortable, in time, I expect. They tried to make me sleep in a new hut with the plaster still wet, but I thought it would not act well upon my rheumatics so balked.

Oh yes, about my insurance premiums, appreciate your kind offer very much, but I had already instructed Trick to pay same, so please let him pay them. However I have since written him and told him to pay premiums to you, that is if you so wish it. I have left him well supplied with money to meet all emergencies so I hope that will be satisfactory to you. You did make a good bid for the $100,000 insurance, did you not? You deserve to win the prize and I hope you will still have the trip and take Mother along too. I hope I will be there but do go anyway as they would all be so pleased to have you.

The poor Winnipeg people seem to be having their usual run of sickness. It is such a pity isn't it, because they could be so happy if they could only keep well.

So glad that you are all keeping so well. I hope you had a good time at Xmas. Alfred fared very well, I believe as he was with the Reades. I has a most excellent time and will tell you about it next time I write. Must close now as my hand is getting rather sore. Lots of love for Mother Emily and self and kind regards for Miss Smith, and a bright happy and prosperous New Year for all.

Loving son

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Original Scans