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Date: December 30th 1914

Jan 1/15  I Am going on pass to-day and it will be my last holiday.  The Colonel has just been in to see us.  He says we will go away before the end of the month.  He has just come from the War Office.

Dec 30/14

Dear Mother

I cant post your letter till I go away on leave, so I’ll write another one.  I got the parcel yesterday.

I was on fatigue duty to-day but my luck was in.  We were working among some empty huts and had worked for about 10 minutes, and were waiting to get something more to do.  I heard the officer in charge tell the sergeant that he wanted 10 men to move some earth, so I went and hid in a hut.  When the men were marched away I walked out, saw what they were doing, and then beat it off to the nearest town, Amesbury, about two miles off to get some fruit.  I went into town by a back way in so there was no guard, but I had hardly got into town than I was pinched by a patrol and hauled off to the clink, to the Corporal of the guard.  We are duty battalion to-day, so it was our men who were on picquet.  The Corporal looked at me and then at my hat badge and said “What are you doing now  I handed him a spiel about looking for a fatigue party, and he said well go back to where you were when they went away, we don’t want to pinch any more 8th battalion men than we can help, were looking for men from the 7th Battalion to-day.  The 7th Battalion had been on duty the day before, and the guard house was full of 8th Battalion men.  Ye gods which I was pinched I thought Charles, your goose is cooked you will go on pass on New Years, I don’t think, when they just go on pass you will be in the clink doing hard labor.  I would have to only the Corporal was a good sort.

Then I went back to camp, and I was up against it.  The Sergeant and the officer were both there, and so I thought now I am in for it, if I show up they’ll want to know where Ive been so I wont show up, I’ll go into a hut and wait.   So I went into a hut and ate some of the peanuts you sent me.  I thought, I’ll watch when they’re dismissed, and then I’ll beat it back home.  But they didn’t dismiss, they called the roll, and a Lance Corporal went through the huts, and he found me.  I fell in just in time to answer my name.  Of course I looked into the huts on the way back with the corp, and made it appear as though I had been out with him looking for men.  He didn’t say anything, so it worked.  Then this afternoon we went out this afternoon is a holiday in the army so the officer formed us up and called out the men who were absent from roll call in the morning and put them to work and the rest of us he dismissed.  Of course I was there for roll call so I was dismissed too.  I’m lucky to-day, wasnt I.

I was glad to get the parcel.  The oranges are the best I’ve got since I’ve been in England.  Everybody voted the fudge excellent and the hanky and the socks are just what I want.  I got another parcel from a London firm I don’t know who sent it.  It had a pound cake, and a half pound cake of chocolate in it, and four boxes of different candy.  It was jake.  But the candy you sent was the best because it isnt chocolate, because chocolate is all we can to eat over here.  Well so long


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