4 July 17.
My dear Little Mother,
Your sweet letter of June 13th with its welcome little bits of mother-love scattered all through it, reached me yesterday. While you were writing that letter I was with Molly in London and don’t I just wish I were back there again! However, I mustn’t grumble, for I had a fine two weeks holiday and bye and bye I hope it will be repeated.
The week-end before I left for France, Molly and I were visiting in Weybridge with Capt. and Mrs. Ralph Jarvis. On our way back to town we met Allan Todd on the train and got from him the latest news of where the battalion is located and all about the Walkerton boys. It appears that with the exception of myself, the Robertson family over-seas had a family reunion in London during the time I was there. Needless to say I was more than sorry to have missed it and I can’t quite understand why they didn’t let me know about it.
In my last letter I told you about the flying accident in which poor old Duncan nearly lost his life. I was nearly frantic for a few days but things are looking better for him now. I went to see him yesterday and except for the pitiful appearance of his face (both jaws, cheek bone and nose are broken) he seems in quite good shape. He is just the same cheery soul as ever and the nurses say that ever since he recovered consciousness he has been "the life of the ward"!! The poor old chap almost broke down when I came in. He has no memory of the accident at all of course, and as he had always flown with me he thought that I must have been his pilot on this occasion, particularly when no one would tell him anything about who the pilot was or what had happened to him. Oh, how I do hope and pray that his condition may continue to improve. Excepting any my own brothers he is more to me than any other fellow in the world, and to think that in a measure I am responsible for all this, since I sent him up with this pilot who apparently lost his head completely as soon as his engine started to splutter. Sometimes I wish I were not a flight commander .
I have named my machine "Z[?]mmie" Of course, you never can guess why, and have had the name painted on her side. She is a fine old bus and has taken me over to Hunland and back a good many times, as various scars and patches on her wings and body testify. Molly bought me the most comical little woolly dog that I’ve ever seen for a mascot. His name is Michael and he sits right in front of me on my upper plane looking out for Huns over my tail. One ear is cocked up in a knowing way and you can see at a glance that he is wide-awake and right on the job all the time. He seemed a wee bit shaky on his pins yesterday when my pilot-tube was showing close to 250 miles per hour during a dive on a Halberstadt Scout (Incidentally I didn’t get that scout as my gun jammed in the middle of the scrap, as machine guns do, and then I had to climb up and join my formation again. Michael looked bored and I fancy he was thinking that he would have to fly with a better pilot in future)
Give Cousin Belle my love and tell her that though I haven’t written to her yet, it isn’t because I have for gotten but just because it is hard to find time. Now-a- days when I am not in the air there are lots of things for me to do on the ground, and I don’t seem to have many spare moments.
I am glad to hear that Aunt Ida is "better and I certainly do hope that the two little Aunts may be able to arrange their visit to Walkerton as usual this summer, I wonder if Harry has come home yet. It is almost time for Ruth to be home now too and then Eva and little Olive are on their way to you or actually with you about now. My, what a fine time you will all be having this summer!
To-morrow I have to take photographs of the entire Army front trenches. Now doesn’t that sound like a fine job! As a matter of fact, it is a comparatively safe Job but it needs to be carefully done.
Best love to you, Little Mother, and to all the family.
Always your loving son,