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Date: December 13th 1916

Dec. 13, 1916

Dearest Mother

Sent you a few lines three or four days ago and want to drop you a note this afternoon. Received a letter from you a couple of days ago. Received the sweater and the gloves in the last town we were stopped in. They are fine. The sweater is just the thing I wanted and the gloves couldn't be better for going out on the line. Many, many thanks for them. Yesterday I received a box chocolates, cake, raisins, dates, etc. from Clemmie and a box of candy and raisins from Enid. Must send Clemmie a line today and will write to Enid as soon I get time. Also received Mrs. Green's parcel on the 9th and have not time to write her now but must try and send her a line tomorrow if I can. I told you in my last letter that we left our position on the Somme on Dec. 3rd and came back to a little town behind the line. Here we put in a week in fairly good billets and on the morning of the 10th we pulled out again at 8 a.m. and started off northwards passing through a fairly large town and stopped as a little village at 12:30 having come 15 or 20 miles. Here we had good billets with comfortable bunks and spent a good night. The next morning we pulled out at 8 again getting into the next town at 2 p.m. Here we are billeted in old barns. I, with some 12 other fellows, am in a large straw loft and have a good place. We expect to be here for some days, perhaps couple of weeks.

We are having much the same weather as we have had all along, damp, foggy and chilly. Yesterday we had sleet and snow all day. It was decidedly unpleasant and we were glad we were not on the road for although we travel in covered lorries it is not pleasant moving on a wet day. Christmas is drawing nearer and I don't know whether we shall spend it on the firing line or not. We may not get up into our new position before that time. Christmas this year is going to be a strange and interesting experience to us and something to remember and I hope it may be a happy one although the circumstances
may not be as congenial as one would wish. The barn in which we are belongs to a family of French peasants the men of which are at the war and we are able to do a lot of things for the women who have all the farm work to do and they are very kind to us.

Don't think there is much news that I can write. The boys are talking around me and I am writing with the pad on my knee and joining in conversation at intervals so this must be a mixed up letter. The boys are all well and enjoying themselves behind the line. It is certainly a relief to be out of the Somme and back away from all danger. Now must close for this time. Will write again as soon as I get a good opportunity for. Before you get this Christmas will have come and gone and I hope it will have been a happy one and I hope that by this time next year I may be back with you all again.

Love to all and the very large share for yourself from your loving son, Harold