Dear Emmie

In answer to yours of the 7th inst. You will be surprised to know that we have been in “les tranchée” since May 1st but by the time you receive this we will be out. No I haven’t met any rabbits yet but there are plenty of rats here which would go very well stewed. Sorry you had to toss who should have the meat. I had to do that yesterday with myself and decided not to have any as it was too bad to eat. It happened today that a Lieu: Colonel came round and saw our dinners which literally weren’t good enough for dogs and I think he is looking into it further. I suppose by now you have been vaccinated have you had much pain with it I didn’t. You tell Bert that I would wear knickers if I could and that if he wants to help win the war not to go in for trousers as they take more material.

I think you must have read that card of 5th wrong. I don’t think I said I hadn’t heard for you for a long time; if you have it read it carefully again. I don’t know the song “The Great red dawn” but I see plenty out here. I like that piece of poetry very much. Yes I do know how fond you are of it. You don’t “gas” too much but I would like you to use both sides of the paper even if you only use one sheet; if my dad was to see your letters he would have a blue fit if you know what that’s like. I am sorry you haven’t heard from me for a long while by your letter of 12th inst but you know I have no writing paper. This is the cleanest sheet out of my note book which you see I had started to use. I am glad to hear that the congregation of the Church is good and I would like you to remember me to  Mr Chapman and tell him I wish his concert a success helping to pay for the organ repairs. Yes, I was at Aldershot having a holiday this time last year. We have been in two or three more holes since that first one I spoke of. Old German dug-outs are much deeper than our own but I prefer ours because some daylight gets in at times. I didn’t know W.Mayne had been to Italy. I asked his where-abouts when I wrote home last. I was just about to write for some Harris’s Pomade and it is very thoughtful of you getting me some. I don’t get much time for writing now todays work is, on duty 12 mid night to 5am. breakfast 5.30 sleep 6am – 12 noon dinner 12.45 work from 2pm to 5 tea 5.30 stand to from 7-8 on from 9 till 12 mid. No wonder time flies. I have had one case self inflicted bullet wound through bysept muscles upper right arm. Accident. Bad wound. 5 inch by 1½ and out another hole through the other side. You must excuse all these scraps of paper as I can’t get any other stuff. You see one letter is about a week old but you must excuse that as I hadn’t an envelope. I think I will have to come on you for another note book now as I have used it all up in letters.

(W.R.M. says life here is rather monotonous but it will not last long.) [Transcriber’s note: Using their prearranged code, this suggests that William is in Loos, France] This is a very quiet part of the line and there is not much going on. Our artilary send one over about 10 to every one of Jerry’s. The first night I was in the line I might say I got unnecessary “wind up” but that is all over now. Old Fritz has just woke up again I can hear some wiz-bang crackers going off. Well my dear I will have to conclude now

With Fondest Love

From Yours Ever

Will xx

P.S. Please will you call at Mrs Gibbs, 121 Roman St, Clerkenwell E.C.1 for Charlie’s address for me at your own leisure. My Pa will direct you to it: it is near the reservoir on the top of Pentonville Hill. It is a Singer’s sewing machine shop. I met Mrs Gibbs when Charlie was on his final leave.

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