Feb 28th 1915
My Dearest Kate
Many thanks for the letters & papers which I received this week, also letter dated Jan 29th which had been delayed quite a lot, but its better late than never. I was glad to hear that you received the photo & papers. O.K. No the picture [?] as good as the original but my relations wanted a picture of me in civilian clothes & that was the only thing I could do to oblige them. I am sorry dear that I cant get that present for you just now but will do so at the first opportunity now that I know what you want. Glad to hear that you had such a good time at the 5th Regt Batt I should like to have been there with you. I hope that you succeeded in getting that invitation to the recreation club dances & that you will have lots of good times at them also at the skating rink. I think skating is fine sport & should come as second nature to us after slipping about on the mud on Salisbury Plain. Please excuse pencil this time, but my pen is dry & I left my ink at the other billet along with some other stuff which I wasn't in need of while we were up here as we are only here for one week. We leave here again tomorrow for somewhere? At present we are right up in the firing line & have been making hurdles, barb wire entanglements & breastworks & we have all spent 24 hours in the trenches. This platoon was in yesterday & all returned safe. There was some pretty heavy shelling from both sides & the trenches were smashed up in places. A British Airplane flew over in the morning & was fired on by the Germans for nearly an hour but got off alright. It was a little exciting while that was going on otherwise things were very quiet. One of our officers was killed on Friday night but I guess you have seen this in the papers before now.
Many happy returns of the day I was unable to finish this letter on the 28th as we had to pack up & be off in a hurry. We have just completed a shift of three days & nights in the trenches came out last night covered in clay so that we have been busy today clearing up. We are all to have a bath tomorrow which we are looking forward to. We are out for three days & are due to go back on Monday night for another three days. The trenches here are about 300 yards apart & we shout across to each other & sing songs. We get a free firework display every night from both sides & every time a rocket goes up we duck our nuts [?] so as not to be seen. I was lucky enough to get my gum boots sent out from home just live days before we went in and I was glad to get them too as the mud was worse there than Salisbury Plain. I had one of mine pulled right off once & had to dig it out with my hands as it was impossible to pull it out. Mother said she had written to you & sent one of Fathers memoriam cards. I am enclosing a cutting with the announcement of the funeral. Harry got his discharge as he has the business now to look after. He has been appointed as secretary to the Foresters in fathers place & that will keep him busy. We had [?] delivered once while we were in the trenches & some of the boys were lucky enough to get their supply of smokes there from home which was a good thing as our crowd were rather up against it at the time for smokes. I didn't get a letter from you there but expect one before we go back on Monday night. We were each given a pair of thick woollen socks today with a note inside to say they were a present from [?] Mary & the women of the Empire. This war must have created a great demand for knitting material & I guess target a lot of people the way to [?] who didn't know before "It's an ill wind that blows nobody good." Well dear I must close now as this is all the paper I have am expecting some info from the other billet tomorrow. Tons of love & kisses XXXXXXXXXXXXX
XXXX From XXXXXX
XXXXXXX Your loving Jack XX