Bandsman W Metcalfe 46534, Band Room No 5, Goojerat Barracks, 256 Infantry Battn., Colchester
Dearest Emmie I am sorry I did not answer your letters yesterday evening, but I was so tired after yesterday’s manoeveres that I went straight to bed. We got up at 5.30, had breakfast and started away with about 2 sq ins of bread and meat (at 7 o’clock) as day rations. We marched about seven miles and had a rest. One good job was that we were out as a band. We were supposed to be having a battle, but all I saw of the enemy was one prisoner. We returned back to barracks at 5 o’clock: making 10 hours marching (over 15 miles) on not enough food for a cat. We had a good meat tea and then turned in. We are starting fires in our rooms now, it does strike rather cold lately. I would to make me a pair of woollen gloves please, there’s a dear. I cannot describe how I miss you and I will try to get leave soon. You know I am very lucky having had three leaves; most of the boys have only had one. One of the band boys tried for leave last week with the excuse of going home to get his cornet mended. The captain wrote on the back “Try parcel post”. I havn’t got your letters to hand now so I will answer them tomorrow. I hope you are not troubled so much with air raids lately. I think you have had your dose. I hear we are going to have one of these manoeuvres again next week, it will last two or three days so I don’t know how I will go on about answering your letters promptly. Oct 7th. 17. Dear Emmie I have just come back from Church parade; it is pouring of rain here this morning and we got soaked through. I hope it is not like this next week when we are sleeping in a field especially if the gate is open. Please tell Mabel that I am not going to write home any more I am tired of waiting weeks for answers. It might wake her up a bit. Harold always seems to be going through the wars, perhaps it will do him good having a holiday. I would like to know where G Ray is stationed he seems to get a lot of leave. Our captain says he dare says it pays to send 9d home to a chum for to send down a telegram saying that a brother is home from the front. One boy wanted leave because his uncle had come home from France: another boy wanted leave because his chum’s uncle had come home. All the band has put in for a week end so I will let you know how we go on about getting it. I meant that we got rifles to drill with from the stores: we have not had them before. I should certainly try for a rise if I were you; don’t you think you would get it. This afternoon we are playing the orchestra for the benefit of the boys as it is wet. This lasts from 2 till 4 o’clock and then I am going down to St Botolph to tea with Mr Hume. That means that I must go to this evenings service there so I will have to stop writing now to get ready. I hear some rumours of six days leave but I will not mention that now in case nothing comes of it. Well I now conclude hoping you get this first post Monday morning. With my fondest Love to my only girl in the world Will xxx PS How about [swastika] I missed it last time.