Bandsman W M 46534, Colchester
Dearest Emmie

Yours to hand of the 26 inst. I don’t think I will make this an orthography lesson for you as peace and quiet surround me now. What have you been doing to feel wayward and wicked sounds quite dramatic. You say that you stayed up with those soldiers and enjoyed yourselves undisturbed, sounds funny doesn’t it? I am really glad you take thing so practical it is what people don’t generally do. There have been one or two lively times here this last week or two resulting from the difficulties in obtaining food. We had fish for dinner last Saturday and it was boiled burnt and filleted and when we got it I could not tell the difference between that and the parsnips we had with it. They made it up to us by giving us bully beef for tea. Your asstnt Station master is a wise man but he doesn’t take a broad minded view of things. I have noticed how you appear to be light hearted but I know different; I can see through that veil so one persons opinion does not distress me. You know I have mentioned about us moving from here soon well, I would like you to come down next Sun if poss. as I think that we are going further north-east and then I wouldn’t see you until my final leave. It is ten chances to one that we do not move before Sunday next but don’t be surprised should you get a letter to the contrary. I would like you to see something of Colchester before I leave it. Last Sunday I went on top of St Peter’s tower and obtained a fine view of the town. I am glad to hear C Hill is getting on both ways, perhaps it is worth taking stripes in his lot but it is not in ours. I forgot to mention that our C.B. finished up Friday last and that we were able to go out Sat. There is a lot of peace chatter lately so let’s hope that something comes of it. I cannot realise now what it is like to be free, when I get back to you it will seem like being in heaven after this life of ”?” Let me know what train you will catch should you be coming won’t you dear; I feel as if I could hug you now only I am not quite close enough: there is something hard in between up. Well my love I must be closing now as time is pressing.

With most affect: love

From Your Will xx.

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