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Date: August 10th 1918

From: Hastings
10 Aug. 1918

Dearest Mother -

I have received no mail since last I wrote. I wouldn't wonder but what the battery is taking part in this push and are not in a position to get or forward mail.

It is 3 wks. today since I came to Hastings. You remember, I told you I would be passed on to another wing at the end of that time. Yesterday drafts left No. 8 Wing for other wings here. Before, Casey and I were in the same wing but different squadrons. We tried to get together in the move but could not make it. Casey is now in "A" Flight No. 1 Squadron, No. 1 Wing, while I am in "A" Flight, No. 3 Squadron, No. 6 Wing. We are in different wings now. You see, we hoped we could get in a room together, buy only one set of books and study together. He is not very far away and I shall be able to see him quite often.

We are now in the most beautiful part of Hastings, the residential section, where there are beautiful winding paved streets and green parks. A great many of these large fine residences have been taken over by the air force and the cadets are now billetted in them, one to six in a room, according to its size. We have beds here with springs and mattresses and four blankets a piece. We were issued as soon as we came here with a rifle, a bayonet, a web belt which we have to keep whitened (as also the slings & frogs for the rifles and bayonets), another tunic of khaki for drilling in, a pair of trousers, and shorts, a large military map, and a protractor. They do things here in style now. Our messing arrangements could hardly be beaten. Tables for 14 or 16 are laid out in the large upper rooms of one of the houses. Clean white table cloths, silver cutlery, flowers on all the tables and a waitress for each table makes one think he is dining in a good hotel, instead of being fed by the government. We have breakfast at 8 a.m., lunch or dinner at 1 p.m., tea at 4:30 and a full course dinner at 8 p.m. This last is the best and most important meal of the day and is to be a full dress formal affair.

On Tues., Sat. & Sun. we have half holidays devoted to sports and things and on those days, instead of tea and dinner, we have just the one meal "high tea" at 5 or 5:30. Oh, I forgot, we really have five meals a day for, in the mornings, just after we get up (about 6 a.m.) we have what is called "gun fire" - a cup of coffee and a few biscuits. After that we have a little physical training before breakfast.

You have read, have you not, of the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC or Waacs as they are called)? Part of the work they do is acting as waitresses & cooks around here. We are told to be as "swanky" as we can, meaning that we must dress carefully, hold our heads up and walk around as if we owned the city. They remind us again & again that we are going in for the best thing there ever was - a commission in the highest branch of the service. The word "swank" is used a lot. There will be a great deal to learn here. We will have a lot of drill and quite a few lectures with exams now & then.

Well, I hope you are all well at home. Let me see, it must be almost exactly two years since I had my last leave home. Well, I am better off right now than at any other time since I left. I hope you get those little photos I sent in my last letter. Love to all.
Yours sincerely,

Cadet R.G. Brown
"A" Flight, #3 Squadron,
#6 Cadet Wing, R.A.F.
Hastings, England

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