18th October 1915
My own darling
I would have written to you sooner than this but I have been so pressed for time that I have not had a minute to myself to call my own, I am still in the trenches & will be here for some time yet, it is getting pretty bad now with the cold & I hear there have already been several cases of feet being frost bitten, but after this time in, we will be better fixed for the cold, we are going to get whale oil to rub on our feet & legs they say it keeps the cold out, wont we be a smelly lot, I got two parcels & a letter from you on Saturday, one of them had the cake in it & candies & the other one had the tobacco & candies, the cake was splendid & was not broke the least bit, it is not done yet, I am making it last as long as I can, of course I had to give some of it away, you know some of our boys are scotch & when they saw it they all wanted some, one of them who comes from Glasgow said, why, thats a current bun same as my mother makes, so of course I gave him a bit & he says his mother could’nt make one any better, he thought he was paying a great compliment so I told him that my wife was a Glasgow girl & could bake as good if not better than any girl from Auld Reekie, they would all like some more, but I am afraid I am very greedy, I am keeping the rest for myself; I also enjoyed the two tins of sardines, they were fine, you cant get any near as good in this country, I had’nt had any for a long time, but the last I had were nothing to be compared with the ones you sent me. Bob Hannah got a parcel from Scotland with two Balaclava sleeping helmets in it & he gave me one, I was sure glad of it because it is so nice & warm to sleep in, you know that old bald place on my head that you wanted to thatch for me gets cold in spite of all I can do & I am afraid I will have to wear a night cap when I get home, but I hope not. You say that you have been sending me a parcel every week, dear, & I am afraid I must have missed some, though I expect I will get them regularly after this, I see some of the boys are getting their people to register theirs, I dont know what it costs, about 10₵ I guess, but it is the safest way to do, as it has to be signed for by the receiver & no one else can get it, I dont know where all these parcels that are sent here are lost, but it must be somewhere between England & the trenches, personally I believe most of them are stolen & if they are it is a great shame, the person who would steal a soldiers parcel would rob a grave, God knows we have a hard enough time of it out here, without having any of our little luxuries stolen from us, I dont know how many tins of Sabadilla you have sent me but I have only received one so far.
Dear Heart, it is a week now since I started to write this letter, so you may guess how I have been worked, I am still in the trenches, but hope to get out to billets soon now, I sent you a P.C. the other day as I guessed you would be uneasy if you did not hear from me, this is a rotten trench we are in this time we had to come in the front line after all, we are shelled every day & the constant bursting & concussion of the high explosives sure gets on ones nerves, I will be glad to get out for a rest, it is raining, again, it has rained all night, & everything is sopping wet & we are all covered from head to foot with wet slimy clay, nice is’nt it? but we have to put up with these things, they are all in the game, fortunately I have a good dug out this time & it is perfectly dry inside. I am not going to write you a long letter this time dear, as I wont have time before they collect the mail & I want to get this away so that you will know that I am all right, but I will write you again as soon as we go out, I have not much to say just now anyway, Winter is setting in now with a vengeance, it is cold & wet & cheerless & it is pretty hard to keep ones spirits up under the conditions we are working under, as usual I am wishing it was all over, I want to get home to my dear ones, but wishing is not much good, it will not finish the war. Give my little darlings a big love from their daddy & lots of kisses, dear, & tell them that daddy is always thinking of them & loves them all the time, God bless them & you, dear, Please try to forgive me for not writing sooner, but it really could not be helped this time, dear, I have been kept so busy. I must close now, as I have only a few minutes left & I must get this away to day, so with all my love to you my sweetheart & lots of kisses I remain every your loving husband