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Date: July 30th 1916

Headquarters Staff
6th C. I.B.
Otterpool Kent



My dearest Beryl.

I think it is just about time I wrote to you to thank for all your nice letters. You can’t imagine how much one appreciates letters – the mail undoubtedly is the one thing of the day. About ten minutes a go (3 pm Sun afternoon)  a wire came in from Canadian General Headquarters ordering us to prepare for an air-raid -  So all the men of the different battalions are at this moment lined along all the hedges possible so as to be out of sight when the hostile air craft does come.  One zepp was here this time last year and 19 men & several horses were killed – the great hole which the bomb made is just here – next door to my tent!  This is the first time we have had to prepare for an air raid action during the day.  All the others have been at night.  As a matter of fact night before last we got a message “Prepare for air raid” at 2 am!!  The Brigade Major came & told me, but I was too tired to pay much attention and dropped sound asleep again – nothing happened!  As I write there are aero – planes hovering round all over the place and the continual heavy roar of their machines or Engines.  Dover is about 20 miles away and believe me it its pretty well guarded Everyone has to have a pass, which is looked at every minute, and they are quite hard to get.  The searchlights which are tremendously powerful are searching the skies all right!  That is the one place the Germans would love to bomb.  The weather is at last getting lovely here and today is awfully hot I am turning gradually like a grease spot as I write here in my bell tent

We had great fun the other day, for about a week ago someone asked the Brigadier to be god father to their baby – much against his will and in the same spirit as Daddy would, he accepted!  Well he forgot about it till the evening before, when I reminded him of it He didn’t know the first thing about it or what he had to do; but I explained as best I could, that he would have to promise to see the child was taught the catechism & commandments etc  etc – he didn’t like the idea at all then I told him he would have to give a Christening present. This was rather a shock, but nevertheless I went and bought him a splendid silver bowl which he gave with great style and the christening went off very well. 

There are several mules in the Brigade Transport here and the other day the Transport Sergeant – a good rider- started to break one in to the saddle, well after being thrown several times, he managed to get it fairly well under way.  He then rode it up to the Brigade Headquarters and I laughed like any-thing to see him come up on this mule.  Well while I was talking to him the Brigadier came out & said “Well that’s a strange kind of mount you have got there!  Lets see you get up Duke, see how you look!!  Well By golly!  the sergeant had just that minute been telling me how many times he had been thrown etc etc etc !!!!  But still there was nothing else to be done so up Lance got!  I careened around about the place and really had quite a good time.  I kept my spurs into him all the time just to show him who was running the show!!   

[?] the Brigadier all this time was having the time of his life laughing! But still [?] came back alright and wasn’t thrown – oh “with little practice I will soon be able to ride alright”

A rather funny thing happened the other day. My bat man asked me if I had any relations in Debenham Suffolk. He said he saw a likeness between me & Uncle William Children – Orvill Frances etc and so asked. He knew them all very well and used to play tennis with them 17 years ago! He used to live in Debenham. Rather strange isn’t it eh!

We have got a gay old newspaper man who comes round the camp every morning “Yelling out “Morning poiper morning poiper, only one German left, all abaght  it” I get two papers every morning about 6 am-  the Daily Mail & Sketch – He drops them in my tent before I am awake. Luxury eh what!!

The other night the Brigade Major (Clark) & myself who are the only two officers living here decided to enjoy ourselves as best we could in this place so we bought a [?] melon and cut it in two. Well would you believe it we finished it all! But never again no never again will either of us look at, far less eat, anything that even looks like a melon! Ye Gods we were sick of it and just rolled into bed when we finished it, still bearing the effects the next morning. No never again for me

By the way I have got a new horse he is a bay and quite a nice chap, with rather a lot of vice and good humour in him!

Well I think I will close now

With very best love to all from your loving brother


P.S. What is Herberts address please

Original Scans

Original Scans

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