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Date: August 1st 1918

Thursday Eve, 1 August, 1918
M---, Somme, France
Letter No 91

My dear old Pater,

Well, I guess its some time since I had letter from you (but I've heard all the news of course). Concerning you; I learn that business is making you a trifle anxious; but never mind, cheer-up and all will soon be well. I hear from mother today that you now hold a Ministry of Munitions protection card and also for 6 of your best men. That is excellent; am ever so glad to think you won't have to join the volunteers.

I had an interesting letter from H.G.Q today. He is at Boulogne - or near it - in camp; owing to a return of nerve trouble he has been forced to give up the YMCA work he was doing, and for the same reason his Labour Commn. will have to drop. He is "sweating" (a familiar term out here) on leave during this month when he hopes to go before a Medical Board in which case it is highly probable that he would not come out here again. Perhaps you will make a note of his new home address; it may be useful - 25 Cornwall Ave., Church End Finchley, N3. Mrs. Quartly it seems is just getting over a serious illness and now only just able to get about again.

Tom Holliday is evidently much better as he is now in Convalescent Camp at one of the bases and will soon join his unit at that rate.

This morning I had a lesson in digging by one who has done plenty - viz. a corp. in the Res. There is an art in using a spade in a workman like way. I can't say I was particularly interested in the subject as I don't like digging trenches much. For the remainder of the morning I was down on the range for Lewis Gun firing. As there wasn't time for us all to fire I was unlucky, but I have had plenty of practice lately and can "group" fairly well.

This afternoon I had another bath! It was "posh"; the weather has been very hot these last few days and baths are welcome and enjoyable.

I can't bear sticking in the billet like so many of the other chaps, so this evening I have sought the cool and quiet of the spot I discovered yesterday and sighted in my letter to mother.

If you can, you ought to get a map of Northern France. I believe there is a very comprehensive one published by "Campbell's"; it contains the names of all the villages out here and will be useful for marking the places I have been to when I get back. I have tried to get one out here and cannot do so.

I hope that you and mother are keeping well. With best wishes from your very affectionate son, Bert