Somewhere in France
Friday afternoon. 12 July, 1918
My dearest mother,
This life is full of ups and downs and the whole aspect of things is altered in the space of a few hours. Yesterday I was at the little village in which I have spent such a happy time. All the morning I was doing Lewis Gun work - firing on the range and at 12.45pm there was a memorial service held in the chateau grounds to all Civil Servants who had fallen in the war. Our service was a counterpart to the one being held at the same time in Westminster Abbey. After dinner I managed to dash off a letter to you and then at 3 o/clock the Battalion sports took place; also in the Chateau grounds. There were the usual races and sports which all went off very well despite the occasional showers of rain. Stuart and I had entered for the three legged race but when the time came we did not feel energetic enough to run and so we dropped out. We were still on the ground when the news came that we were moving in the morning; this was rather a surprise but not unexpected. In the evening I met out N.C. padre and had a chat for over an hour with him when he continued his interesting stories and also told me of a service to be held in this village on Sunday. Before turning in I bought some things from the canteen and also got all my baggage ready as far as possible for the morning.
Reveille was at 4.15am today and breakfast at 5am; by half past seven I was on the move. The journey was made in a "bus", as last time, and a march of about half an hour bought me to the place where the line of transport was waiting. The road taken was practically the same as previously and as I was feeling rather tired I tried to sleep most of the time.. It rained pretty heavily on and off; indeed so far it has been doing that all day. I got out of the lorry at the village where I spent the night before going up the line last time and then marched to a little village near where I am now billeted quite comfortably in a deserted cottage.
I have raked around and bought some figs and four eggs; the latter I have fried and had for an early tea. Old Stuart and I are going to have a look round soon; it doesn't seem a bad sort of place here although the troops have rather spoilt the countryside. I have now been attached to 7 platoon, so it would be best if you omitted to put the platoon in my address as it seems these changes are frequent. Unfortunately old "Jerry" is still in another platoon and consequently not billeted with me; I do wish we could get in the same platoon. The chap has just come for letters so must close. Remember - don't worry because I am nearing the line.
fondest love and xxxxx from
PS. Expect to be here for a few days