Bandsman W Metcalfe 46534 Aldershot
Dear Emmie

In answer to yours, I hardly know where to begin first. Of course when I saw the thick letter I got the “wind up” and when I opened it, it took my breath away. You might have let me have a postcard first just to get me prepared. Never mind! I thank you very much for such a long epistle; you know it cheers me up wonderfully every time I hear from you. If I hadn’t you to write to me I think I would get the DTs if you know what this means. I am glad to hear that everybody has been enlightened as to the true reason of Mr Hicken’s resignation. I am sorry to hear of the burglary at his house but he must feel relieved “some” what!

Mt Warder must be a very businesslike man at the rate in which he answers letters. Just fancy you having the pluck to go for a walk after what occurred at Euston; but perhaps you didn’t go that way did you? When I went to give my pass in I was told they were all stopped this weekend as we are moving next Thursday or Wednesday. You never said anything about having Friday afternoon off in your letter. I think we are going to Colchester. I won’t keep you in suspense too long but I am almost certain to get Friday and Saturday off. You know I just mentioned your name and the trick was done. No! the drum-major is seeing about it for me so it will be a very extra special leave this time.

Last night we went out to play at a fairwell dinner given by some senior officers who are soon going to France. We went there by brake, about two miles, or rather in an old red cross cart such as were used in the “Boer War”. We had a fine time, a cold meat supper and plenty of drinks and we did not get back to barracks until 12.30 am this morning. The orchestra is playing at a lecture tonight in the officers’ mess tomorrow night so we have something to do. As a matter of fact I didn’t do anything except eat and drink last night, the piano was the wrong pitch with the instruments so I could not play it. About Mr C. I was just wondering wether he was a Mormon or not. We happen to play both of those pieces in the orchestra and we have no piano parts so by having them down I would be able to play them. The concert practices are not proceeding much because the orchestra takes as much time. I did not notice that you asked me that before or I should have taken the first opportunity to answer it. About the GFs concert I hope that the “fun” lasts only for the night and no longer. I suppose I must own that I have a little yellow streak especially where you are concerned. How much can you swim by now; you will soon become a mermaid if you take to the water so much. I am never sarcastic but how many letters did you refer to to write your last letter; I guessed that you didn’t write that letter at 3 o’clock in the morning. I have not got the instep supports yet but there is plenty of time between now and when I come out of the army. All we do at Officers’ mess is play about eight pieces while they are dining. I am sorry I cannot stop to write more as I have not answered all your letter yet but I will tell you when I come home.

I do not think this notepaper is any better to write on but it is the only stuff we can get here. I am quite sure I could write another four pages if I had time so please excuse this short note.

I now conclude

With Best Love

Will xxx

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