Thursday 30th May 1918 The Orchard
My dearest mother,
I am addressing my daily communiqué to you again because I have your letter of the 24th - last Friday to reply to. The post as you might have imagined has been delayed a little recently. I had a good batch today. Your parcel containing Grandma's cake, shortbread, [?] a book and magazine etc arrived and I was ever so pleased with it. You simply can't imagine how I look forward to the parcels - all of which I have safely received - and don't know how to thank you enough for the good things you have sent. Although you speak of the difficulty of finding suitable stuff to send, you have ably accomplished it for your [?] could not been better. I have some cash to last me for three weeks and I shall not want [?] for some time to come so it is only when I am in a place where it is impossible to get to the [?] that I shall need the [?] the weather gets much warmer they will be very acceptable indeed. I want you to thank Grandma for [?]. It is very good of her to send such nice things. The [?] has just turned up in the nick of time - there being [?] YMCA. I also had a letter from [?] and Auntie Miriam and also one from Flo enclosing a nice handkerchief which is very [?] thank her ever so much for it pending my letter to her. You should now have received 26 or 27 letters from me as I write at least one each day to home. You will easily be able to tell which letters have gone astray as you have got the others already. I should be rather interested to know actually how many letters you have by the time you get this. I also hope all the postcards I have sent from time to time have arrived as they will prove of interest later on. I am glad to hear that you went to Mr. Wallers; I have written Mr. Waller three times but I don't know if he has received my last two letters [?] I would like one or two of your photos sent to me. The curio you put in the parcel is [?] I showed it to some of the chaps and they simply roared with laughter. Stuart has given me one of the photos he has had taken at "Church" but I don't suppose we shall have the opportunity to be photographed out here. [?] I would tell you that LGs. did not have to go in the trenches but [?] what job in an infantry [?] gets he always has to go up the line. As far as I am concerned either job of Lewis Gunner has kept me as much behind the scene for which we are both thankful. I agree with you it would be quite "pat" if I could obtain a job as instructor; I would give up all hope, there are many more improbable things than that. I was rather surprised to hear that Billy [?] is not wounded; he is lucky to be in Blighty if that is the case. Fancy the old barracks being bombed - for my part they can send them sky high; but of course not the poor beggars who are there at the time. Talking about Fritz's bombing activities you will recall how he recently surreptitiously attacked a large hospital [?]; well, the newspapers (according to the Daily Mail today) as good as let out where it is, but it will be of great interest to you to know that it was at that base where I spent my first weeks out here. Evidently I just moved in time.
I have not moved again so you see I have been carrying on as usual. The rations are assuming more normal quantities and we are settling down in our new abode. This morning I was doing tactical work in connection with the LG and learnt how to advance by crawling over the ground. It reminds me of scouting to be making myself dirty in this way. I also had a lecture on using the "circular" compass which is quite an expensive instrument. This afternoon I spent in rather a lazy way reading a book and sleeping in the billet, while since tea I have been busy writing in the orchard where, if the weather is fine, I intend to spend the night.
Despite the rather disquieting advance of Fritz's activities in the air, there is abundant evidence here that we are greatly superior to him in almost every way. Don't be surprised if you hear some good news about the RAF; we've got something up our sleeves for Germany. The same applies to the [?] on land; Jerry is not having it all his own way as events will soon show. So while awaiting "good" news, cheer up and hope for the very best.
My idea of applying for a commission to the RAF has received a stimulus today by the casual remarks of our Lewis Gun officer. Seeing that you have placed confidence in me to do the very best thing I can for your sake as well as for me, I am going to make further enquiries about the project. In the meantime I should be glad if one of the boys would be good enough to send me copies (neatly written) of my testimonials to be found near the top of my filing cabinet in the top back room. I should like them as early as possible.
This does not mean to say that I am even likely to get in to the RAF, and should you really feel that you don't want me to join there, then I will be quite willing not to; if necessary you could "wire" your disapproval. I would ask you, however, to bear in mind what I told you just before I came out here when I heard that my other application had been "washed out" at Wimbledon and leave the rest to me.
Well, I have written such a lot that I really must dry up. Don't get worrying about anything I have told you; but I think I know you well enough [?] that you want. I do hope you all keep well at home; I am quite well again. Give my love to all.
With fondest love and xxxxx
from your affectionate