84 Squadron R.F.C.
March 1st 1918.
My dearest Beryl
I’ve had several nice letters from you lately for which many thanks- I wrote to Jack Stewart in answer to a letter from him but the letter was returned to me a day or 2 ago: he’ll wonder why I haven’t written so you can explain by the enclosed envelope. I did my 1st patrol today. the first since I’ve been out this time: new fellows coming out now always get 3 weeks practice at flying and shooting, before going over and my 3 weeks was up today so I went out on “Offensive Patrol”: we were in formation of 4 machines and the patrol lasted 2 hours (the regular time). We went 9 miles over into Hunland in search of Boche machines. this being our job, is to scour the skies for all hostile aircraft and shoot them down! We were 14000 feet up & it was pretty cool at that height for 2 whole hours: there were not many Boche in the sky, in fact the only ones we saw were two 2-seaters 3000 feet above us: we immediately climbed to attack but they spotted us coming up and so put their noses down and went down home as hard as they could: we couldnt catch them- “Archie” was as good as ever and it was very strange being archied again after being away from it for 6 months- I’m on another patrol tomorrow morning from 6 AM to 8 AM- too jolly early!
The Hun Push is expected here exactly in front of us either tomorrow or the next day- Mar 2nd or 3rd and we expect to get a lot of Boche machines.
Its fearfully cold tonight and my little stove is doing its best to keep the life in me and my little shack, while I write letters home-
I went up to see a sort of dentist yesterday to have a tooth stopped and when I had finished I strolled into an officers canteen to get a bite of lunch when who should be going in at the same time but Despard Twigg an old member of the 88th we were surprised to see each other! he is attached to some Indian labour corps out here- a jolly, good, safe, soft job!
The old Boche has developed an extraordinarily nasty habit of bombing us early in the morning: this morning I heard a machine buzzing overhead at the early hour of 6 AM and then 4 bombs exploded making a terrific row: on cautiously crawling outside lo & behold was Mr. Hun calmly sitting 4000 feet above us!! he soon turned East when we started off after him, and he won!
Im sorry Jack Stewart couldnt get leave back to Victoria to see you, however he may manage it before coming overseas. I’ve met several Canadians who were training in Canada with him-
Well I’ve got to get up at 5 AM tomorrow so had better go to bed right now: I pity any poor Hun who comes over and tries to bomb us then: we’ll all be so bad tempered at that hour!!
Much love to all Ever your very loving brother Lance-