From: Killarney, Ireland
4 July, 1918
Dearest Mother -
In my last letter, I don't believe I mentioned having received two more letters from you since the time I wrote before. They were the ones of May 26 and June 2 and will likely be the last one I will get for some time as letters will now have to be forwarded and I do not yet know the new address.
Next evening after I wrote last to you, I left London for Ireland. The train left Euston(?) station about 6:20 p.m. and made few stops arriving at Holyhead at 1:00 a.m. (29th). We boarded the boat immediately but it did not leave till 3 o'clock so that it was about 8:30 a.m. when we finally arrived at North Wall, Dublin.
I decided to stay over Sunday in Dublin and put up at the Soldier's Central Club. There are in and around Dublin many places of interest but I did not get around much to see them. I was not feeling at all well and towards evening got worse - a bad cold and a fever. I believe it was a touch of a new disease that has been spreading around - Spanish influenza. I went to bed early that night and slept in late Sunday morning. I felt a little better on Sunday and on Mon. morning was very nearly all right again. I left Kingsbridge station Mon. morning at 9:15 a.m. for the south of Ireland. I had to change trains in the afternoon at Malloch(?) and at 4:45 arrived at Killarney. Porters were at the station to take you to a hotel. I was fortunate in getting to a very quiet, clean & comfortable place.
Before the war, they say that at this time of year, the place would be full of tourists - hotels full & crowds on the streets - now there is hardly a soul. The war is quite a tragedy indeed to the great many here who used to live on the tourists. There seems to be only four or five other soldiers in the place besides myself. Leave to Ireland is somewhat discouraged I guess and just at present you see the oversea's leave from the front has scarcely opened up again yet.
Lots of Australians used to come here they say but it seems they can't come to Ireland now. You know Ireland has no conscription and it seems that many of them donned civilian clothes over here and - disappeared - deserted. The first night I was here, I had a trip in one of the Irish jaunting cars to some of the picturesque places among the lakes. There are three of them -the Upper, Middle & Lower. Around them tower the highest mountains in Ireland.
It was an inspiration I had when I finally decided to come here. One cannot imagine anything so wonderfully beautiful. Let me try to describe the trip I had the day after I got here. A New Zealander was with me and the two of us were taken for a long drive in one of those little jaunting cars. We left the hotel about 10:40 a.m. and it was about noon when we finished this part of the trip. We stopped at the entrance to the Gap of Dunloe and visited Kate Kearney's Cottage. In this little cottage, many years ago, lived Kate Kearney, the most beautiful Irish woman in all Killarney. We waited here till another party of eight cadets came up and then the lot of us mounted our ponies and proceeded on the 7 mile trip thru the Gap. At various places along the route we were stopped by women wishing to sell us some little souvenir of the place. I suppose they did quite a business once. So, you go along with the hills rising on either side and some of the most beautiful scenery in the world unrolling before you.
We left the ponies on the bank of the Upper Lake where we got on board a large row boat manned by four Irishmen who have rowed many a party of tourists over the lakes. We had luncheon on board this boat, after which it took us through the Upper lake and Long Range River. We then passed a very pretty place called the "Meeting of the Waters", then on thru the Middle & Lower Lakes landing at Ross Castle. From there back to the hotel was only a short walk.
I have been looking for Casey the last day or two but I guess I can hardly expect to see him on my leave at all. My, but I am sorry we could not have had our leave here together.
I hope you and the others are all well. Love to you, Gladys, Harold, Cecil & Arthur.