Pte W. Metcalfe 46534, 19 Platoon, E. Coy 100 T.R.B., Talavera Barracks, Wellington Lines, Aldershot
I am writing this letter in the third hour of another twenty-four hours off. You know this time what for. I do not think anybody fainted this morning, and I hardly feel anything yet. I do not think I will feel the inoculation this time as much as the last and that was not bad. One thing that worries me is that if I am not very careful I shall be picked out for hair cut. (or crop) This “crop” does the hair good, in the end, but if I am coming home next week (you see I am building high castles) I do not want my hair too short. I have been to two band practices and missed two hot days of hard drill. The other day the Bandmaster caught me asleep at practice but he did not say much. It is very hot here, nearly too hot to move. All I hope for is that I see you next week; I do not suppose I shall get more than Saturday & Sunday off, if that. There are four or five others that have been granted leave so I stand a chance. I dare say you have noticed the change of my address; these barracks are the nearest of any to the station. Now this is where I have a bit of (doubtful) real good news. The roumour is very prevailent that after we have been at the barracks for a few weeks we are going to be shifted to either Wimbledon or Richmond Pk. This would be a bit of good luck for then I would be able to pop home frequently. I do not know wether the air makes any difference to our appetites down here but what was too much for us at first, does not seem to be sufficient to eat now. When we get into barracks they may have better convenience to cook more. It makes me laugh to see the boys trying to shave themselves and about 50% of them cut themselves. It is rather cold washing at 5.30 in the morning so I generally have a proper wash in the evening and a “cats lick” in the morning. The time seems to fly here for we only have a few hours to spare a day now. I know how the time must drag for you, but I will have to make the most of it when I see you. Please will you thank your Mother for me, for those little loaves; they went down very nicely thank you. The things in our canteen are very dear e.i 2½ & 3d per little apple 2d bananas. I think when we get to town the goods in the “Soldiers Home” & “YMCA” etc are very cheap. How is Bert getting on with the piano? (Mum?) I will have to come round & hear him play. The “cook house” has just sounded so I will have to run for my rashons. One boy in my tent says “We’ve got whales for tea.
– Interval tea –
I had two bloaters and about 5 slices of thick bread for tea. Of these I saved a slice & a half to eat later for we have to go from 5pm to 8am with nothing. I think I have told you about all so will now close
Yours Ever Loving