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Date: January 8th 1918





Dear Ollie:


Wed. night, no mail, nothing to do so guess may as well write a few lines to pass the time.  Am a Fire Officer for the week so could not leave camp if I wanted to (which I don’t).  It has rained all day as usual. I tell you this country gets my goat.  I almost forget what the sun looks like but suppose it will clear up in the spring and I guess by the looks of things we will be here well on in the summer as the 4th Dec. is going to be the last to demobilize and the Reserves the last of the Div.  So you see our chances are slim but don’t suppose a few more months will make a difference one way or another.  Should be damned thankful to be alive even if it is in England.

Well Allie, the boys in Belgium had a big time New Year’s Eve.  Big dance in Brussels.  The first big one since Waterloo (my luck again eh?) dammit.  You know am missing a lot by being in this country.  Why the Blankety Blank couldn’t old Fritz caved in a couple of months sooner so I could have been in at the death.

Well enough of that I am here and likely to stay for a good many weeks yet.  But one thing am safe if I don’t commit suicide or go nutty and kill some of these rookies.  I tell you it’s enough to try the patience of a Saint and I reckon my wings haven’t started even to sprout yet so you can see it makes it rather hard on both myself and the men but guess will pull thro’ ok.

Just wrote the old man a letter giving him some advice (don’t laugh).  Told him that it would be a great idea if he hustled around and got a nice Beagle Hound (female of course) and have about 7 nice little pups for yours truly to play with when I get back.  Great idea eh? (And all my own).

Reckon it will please Mum.  I can hear her saying, “the boy is crazier than ever, I did hope he would have a little sense when he got back.”  But a fellow can’t help it if he is born crazy can he?  You know I have been thinking abut this for a long time, why it wouldn’t be like going home at all if I didn’t have any dogs to play with.  You will think I am drunk but am neither.  I often lay in bed and think of old Sport.  You know I pretty near cried when I said good bye to that dog.  Well guess I must have softening of the brain for sure but don’t worry in only take it by spells.

Well Allie, I don’t know what the Sam Hill to write.  There isn’t any news to write.  Had a good time on leave but should have stayed home and saved my money to buy you people some Xmas presents.  Never bought a single present for any one this year.  Spent all my money in gadding about the country.  But I did have a good time.  Went to an old fashioned barn dance in Aberdeen.  I tell you would give all I possess if I could dance the Highland Fling like some of those old Scotties.  I laughed till I was sore that night.  We didn’t try to dance but I sure felt like trying.  But the best of it was when they asked Nick to sing a song.  He is the chap who was with me (name is Nickers).  I sure had the laugh on him, but my joy was short lived for they called on yours truly for a speech.  Good Lord imagine this child making a speech.  Couldn’t do it and told them so but offered to fight any ten with broad swords.  Couldn’t get swords so was let off.  Oh we sure spent a good time of it.  Left with more invitations to call than we could fill in a year but mebby will be able to get up again this spring if I do you bet am going to call on every one of them.  It’s just like going into your own home, you own everything.

Well it’s bedtime for boys so must saw off for this time.  Have got to get up early in the morning.  Oh yes, am going to get my picture taken Sat., I guess, mebby, perhaps.

This is an awful letter but can’t be helped.  Will be crazy as a loon if I stay here another six months.  I reckon you think will have to go some to get much worse eh?  Guess you’re right

Love to all



Original Scans

Original Scans

Hudgins, John. January 8, 1918. Hudgins, John. January 8, 1918. Hudgins, John. January 8, 1918. Hugdins, John. January 8, 1918. Hudgins, John. January 8, 1918. Hudgins, John. January 8, 1918.