My Dear Miss Doris:-
Your kind letter arrived about a week ago – and was closely followed by that delightful parcel. I can assure you we fairly revelled in its contents – and on behalf of myself and the other boys, I thank you most heartily.
I am sure that it must be gratifying to you to know that it is by such arts of thoughtfulness and kindness on the part of the girls and women of the home land – that our hearts are kept high with Hope – until victory shall be our and we return in triumph to our Homes.
Let us hope the day is not far hence. I am very glad to note that you are a lover of the great out door, that you love the flower and have a garden of your own. Belgium is the paradise of the gardiner. The soil is marvellously fertile and growing things spring from the soil with wonderful quickness. Fields of rye are full grown—in full ear and almost fit for the scythe.
The country is very beautiful and save where the spoiler has left his mark on the villages, the view is peaceful in the extreme.
The windmills top every little hill and one may count a dozen against the horizon. The pollarded willows line line the brooks and avenues of tall and graceful trees. mark all the highways.
You have your own chickens too eh! For my part – after I leave Belgium I shall blush to look a hen in the face. The quantity of hen fruit consumed by this British Army must be prodigious. Eggs are about the only thing one can buy – [?]
Many thanks to your mother for her offer of sox: but really – at present I am very well supplied.
The various “Comfort Commissions” are supplying us with lots of socks and may be readily obtained from stores for the asking.
I trust you may be successful with you entrance exams. Long before you get this they will be all over and I suppose you will be enjoying your summer holidays.
Yes I was in the first battle of St Eloi. but one is not permitted to tell about these war matters – and a recital of the horrors of those days and nights would only be distressing.
Personally, I write letters such as these to forget for a time the horrors and perils with which we are surrounded. But one grows quite used to danger – and shells and bullets excite but little comment except when some poor fellow is hit.
Good-bye little Doris, and may the hands of the Hun never fall upon you and yours. – as it has crushed the lives and homes of millions of the best blood of our land.
Many thanks again to you and your mother for your thoughtfulness [?]