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Date: May 5th 1918
Son Leon
W J. Wood Pte.

Virginia Water Camp C.F.C.

Surrey, England

5 – 5 - 18

My Dear Son Leon:-

Your very boyish letter to hand last week. I am very happy to see how well both you and Irene and even Sylvia manage to express yourselves in writing. It is a very fine thing to be able to do and practice will make you better. Look how practice is enabling me to express my feelings and thoughts in form and color. You may not be able to tell what is said in this picture but your dear mother will know, I’m sure. It will show her how well I remember happy days of old when the sun would go to rest, etc. A picture that would cost me days of patient effort, a year or so ago, is made wonderfully life-like and effective in an hour or more now. I want you to read my letter to Irene too, so you must ask her to let you, giving her yours to read in return. So much that I write to one of my dear children should be written to the rest of them. But by passing them over to each other to read I will not have to repeat my words too often. Read them aloud to little Vernie, since he will love to hear from his “daddy” in England. I am glad you are able now to split and carry up the wood. It is a manly job and your mother should not have to do it. She has plenty to do in place of that. So you’ve learned to skate. That is good. It is great fun and healthy exercise.

And you have some good chums at school to wrestle and contest with. That is as it should be. I had lots of that sort of thing at school too: but don’t neglect your lessons. Work at them but do not worry about them. Work while you work and play while you play. I suppose you will master the art of swimming and diving this summer. The quickest way is to dive lightly and swim with your head under water then when you find yourself coming to the top, as you certainly will, just keep on swimming, while you shake the water off your head and blow it out of your nose and mouth. And blink it out of your eyes, all the while keep on swimming in water not too deep, in case you needed to stand up to get your in shape to try once more: then when you can dive and swim right on without having to touch bottom you are a swimmer!

Your loving father,

W J. Wood Pte. 644539

Original Scans

Original Scans