Pte W. Metcalfe 46534
Dear Emmie You say the 7th July would be nice for me to get leave, I think so too but now I am more likely to get it on the 14th or 21st. I hope they do not make it too late. Next Tuesday we start 4 hours a day musketry which is fairly easy only we have to cram into our brains in one week that which the others have had six weeks to learn. The next week I think we have firing every day and when we have passed that we get our leave. Two boys out of the band have been picked by their company and went last Saturday; I do not know how they go on when all the band goes. This morning the brass band played the whole battalion up to the fields for Church Parade; it was not bad for the first time. I told you we were going to India & Ireland and Scotland and Wimbledon, but it has not occurred yet. I am writing this just after dinner (?) cold meat salad and bread; and custard and rhubarb after. The custard was just like watered milk but I had pleanty today because I served it out, and you know if number one does not come first in the Army he does not come at all. One thing that touches everyone in our company is that we have lost our commander (Capt Everit). He was absolutely the best officer in the Batt. We had a fairwell concert on Friday last and as he spoke he nearly broke down & when he said good-by on Saturday some of the boys cried. I was not there Sat. but I shook hands with him on Fri. night. He has been wounded and gassed and was passed by a medical board as fit and is destined to join his old Batt. and be off to France within a week. He said to me before he went, he did not mind going but he did not like to see some of the officers who have not been out at all, stay at home. This all came upon us so sudden, we did not know until Friday morning and 17 Platoon bought him a present and kept it secret until the evening and it was given him with and extra stress on the 17. This act rather cut the rest of the company so a collection of about £2.10 was made when we were all in bed Fri. night and on Sat. we presented him with a Soldiers travelling toilet case and some cigars and cigarettes. We all wished him the “best of luck” and a safe return and he said he would be glad to meet us all in France. I think I would rather meet him in England. “Apres la Gare”. I think I will go to the parish Church again tonight it was much better than the Military Church I went to last week. I dare say you will have a start to see a half-sheet in this letter so I will have to close now hoping you are well at home. Have you heard anything of Maud yet. I now conclude. With Best Love Will xxx P.S. Have you had any more Air raid scares lately. P.S.S. Thanks for Mag. I received it this morning after Church Parade.