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Date: February 19th 1917

Gunner Hale No. 85519
5th Reserve Battery C.F.A.
Risborough Barracks


Dear Alice,

Thank you so much for your nice long letter received last Friday. It was very welcome believe me. How is Ma's ankle now? Quite well I hope and giving no more trouble. It must have been very painful. You must have been a very busy person with all your various duties to perform and your Red Cross work at night. Does Lily do any of that work? It is quite a change to hear you say that you are quite fit and feeling fine. A decided change for the better, because I know you used to be very delicate especially in the winter. I quite agree with you Alice about having a good time now because while you are young is the proper time to enjoy yourself. But don't make yourself tired for pleasure. Don't let him think you like him too well. Now don't take offence at that last sentence Alice, just fun. So Mrs. F. Stopps has a son, and also Mrs. Crawshaw, eh, and the little fellow puts his arms out for you to take him. Well all I can say is that he has very good taste. I am very sorry to hear that G. Greening has acted in such a way towards Leah. It is a great shame. I am sure that she always acted straight while he was away. It is a good thing she is taking it in the right way. I imagine that George will find out his mistake later, as a good number of us will no doubt. Perhaps you will think that I am not in a position to judge George. I have been bad in my conduct towards you I know. But at the same time there is no possible chance of me doing what he has done. In spite of that, for all our little troubles, as you so nicely put it in your letter, I know that I am in a great measure to blame, much more than you were. Believe me I value your friendship most highly now. I won't dwell on this subject too long, but I must say that if the soldiers had thought more of their girls at home and less of them on this side, they would be much better men. They will regret their past behavior just as sure as there will be dawn tomorrow. I am due to go back to France very soon now. My stay in England is rapidly drawing to a close. It is just a matter of days now. I guess by the time you get this letter I will be there. On the whole, I am not sorry in a way. I suppose you know as well as I do what is coming this year. One cannot help thinking sometimes what will the harvest be, can one? We should worry. It will be a great fight and will be something to talk of later. Would you really like to have about two hours talk with me? What kind of a lecture would I get? I am rather curious. Won't you tell me some of it next time you write if I promise to answer your questions and take your advice? So you think I was wrong not telling you the truth about my arm when I was in hospital. Well perhaps I was. I thought it would make you worry. I knew it would do no good so I told a few stories I am afraid. I know you were angry with me for not writing more often. I really could not with one arm even if it was the left arm bad. But never mind. It is over now so it is no use talking about it. I am glad I sent you a photo now. I thought you would like to have one. I have not seen any more nice verses but I won't forget your collection next time I do. It will be a great pleasure to me to read them all some day with your permission. I had a photo of you in Red Cross dress. Is that the one you speak of? I wrote and thanked you for it a long time ago. Did you not get the letter? Well, I thank you again very much for it. I think it is very good. No Alice, we decided not to make corn fritters after all. The corn was very good and we enjoyed it very much. The boys passed a note of thanks to the sender. How did your bazaar turn out? Did you raise your $3,000? I am glad to hear that Syd is still quite well and sincerely hope he does not stop any of Fritz's scrap iron. How is Harold getting on now? Next time you write to him, give him my kind regards. Is he married yet? I think I will have to close now. Remember me to all my friends. My kind regards to all at home and keep well. Trusting to hear from you again soon.
I remain your old friend,