Royal Flying Corps
April 3rd 1917.
My dearest Beryl
This is to wish you very many happy returns of your birthday- I hope it will arrive in time but one never knows these days as the mails all appear to be completely upside down like everything else.
Today April 3rd seems more like Jan 3rd for it is simply snowing cats & dogs and the majority of the flakes are quite the size of a 5p piece. I shall be more than glad when this cold weather goes off and the real spring, finally starts to set in: a nice fine sunny day always makes such a difference in everything.
I cant make out at all how you got hold of the story that we were in Ypres, from Ken. He was in Ypres but we are nowhere near there in fact quite the other direction.
I’m glad to hear that you are enjoying yourself driving Dr. Holuses car- it’s great fun isnt it driving about the country in a really good car. I’m sorry that Val wont be able to get any petrol during these next holidays for he enjoys the motorcycle so much: however everybody appears to be much the same and petrol is quite unobtainable by the private person although of course we have all we want and more. Our machines burn petrol at the rate of 10 gallons for every hour they are in the air which is, of course very considerable and about 4 pints of oil. The cost of these two would certainly ruin a private owner wouldnt they: and the average cost of keeping a machine in the air for an hour is £ 30 including every-thing- wear & tear petrol etc etc. and when a machine of ours is lost or brought down it means a loss of £25,000 to the nation. There are some figures for you!
I haven’t heard from or written to Girlie or Phil since I’ve been in France I really suppose I ought to one of these days.
I hear very regularly from Hugh who is quite a toff now I believe. I am going to try and pop over and look him up one of these fine days. Handley, I phoned up yesterday intending to go and see him today but it appears he was due to visit a dentist or some such awful personage; however I may get another chance soon. Several of our chaps have had leave and I was due for mine in 3 weeks time and now of course all leave has been stopped for everybody as the Push is starting this week- most annoying I call it: Why on Earth do they Push!!!. Its too ridiculous & they might wait till I’ve had my leave- Ill have to see Sir Douglas Haig tomorrow & see what he can do!!!
Best love to all from your very affectionate brother Lance.