6th August 1918

Dearest Emmie

In answer to yours of the 31st ult I am better now thanks it was only a cold but I thought it might have been the ‘flu’ again as my eyes ached so much. I should imagine ‘Chu Chin Chow’ is rather difficult to play, n’est-ce pas?

It is still the same as usual here only there seem to be more civilians coming back to their homes. We have just had a practice so this is my second attempt at writing. The last letter I wrote you I should think I left it no less than eight times. It is now pouring of rain so we are just back in time.

I saw George Watson this morning. When you wrote and said that he had seen me I had no idea that he was in a fighting Regt. I thought he would have been in the labour corps. I had a few words with him and will see him again before he goes up the line. I would like to know how Will likes his ride, it is his first long one isn’t it. If you ever have a husband as you say, you have to honour and obey him so he might do whitewashing on Bank Holiday.

By now you will have had your ramble and I hope that you enjoyed it. I had a letter from W.L. and will answer it when I get time. I hope you like the card I sent you yesterday it was a pretty one I think, was not it? I don’t think I told you, but not long ago I met a chum who used to go with me to St Brides school, strange how small the world is isn’t it. Sorry if this is “buckshee” news to you, compre?

Well I will close now dinner is up and there is no “buck” that is an abbreviated buckshee or perhaps the masculine the latter sounds somewhat feminine. Please remember me to Ma & Pa

Fondest Love

From Will xxx

4th August 1918

Dear Emmie

In answer to yours of the 29th ult I don’t think you read that French as I meant you to. It was a joke; I should have told you! Did you see it. It is not exactly against the rules to write in French but the censor might have to find the interpreter which would cause a bit of trouble. I don’t know if I told you I was about 2.5.0 in debt a little while ago but the books have been made up and now I have an enormous credit:- 3/-. I think I’ll take a leave to Blighty to spend it. I am glad to hear George Todd is safe. I wonder how he likes his German home. I’ll write to home when I get his address. I did not see G. Watson what is he in? I can’t make out where he saw me. I think we used to play ‘Maid of the Mountains ‘ in England but I forget how it goes now. Glad to hear the concert party goes on well. I suppose Mr Cannon still sings comic. We are playing retreat soon so I will finish this later. It is now Bank Holiday Monday, I was unable to finish this yesterday. I don’t want to bother about Ch+pn-ism now as I havn’t really time to spend on it. I might speak to our Padre about it. It is only about 500 years old as far as I can make out and if you only listen to one side of the question it will have its desired effect. You say “how is the war getting on” well that’s more of a question I would ask you. We get papers especially printed for us so you see we don’t see both sides of the question. There are Blighty papers issued but I havn’t seen one for some time. The Germans were certainly retreating according to plan when you wrote last; the papers said that his retirement was being very well carried out but now I think he is beginning to run. Of course his plans now are not the original ones of taking Paris etc. but nevertheless they are plans. I do not know the places to which you refer and nobody else here seems to. We have finished our cooker job and I am glad to say they took the first prize in a show. Well I will now close.

With Fondest Love

from Will xxx

2nd August 1918

Dearest Emmie

I hope you are alright as I hav’nt heard from you this week yet. I received the Book of papers this eek as I said in the other letter. We are still going on the same so there is nothing much to report. I havn’t heard from home now for a long time so I don’t trouble the postman much do I?

Yours to hand of the 27th ult just received with four other letters. The postman did not forget me this time. This letter has taken six days coming. The weather is a bit wet lately but quite warm. It was really too hot yesterday but has been raining almost without a break today. I dare say it will stop so as we can play retreat this evening.

Yes! Gen Foch is still doing well, I think this lot ill be over about this time next year at least we all hope so. I think “Jerry” is absolutely beat and he knows it. I don’t think it will be worth his while to go though the winter. There will be many more “cousin sammies” here by next year. I havn’t seen many because there’s nothing much doing here: they are only where the things are being done and they are making a good name for themselves; they beat the Prussian Guards the other day, I dare say you read about it in the paper. I have been dreaming a lot about home lately, the first time it has ever occurred in fact I was at work at the shop again. In this case I say “dreams very often come true”. I am sorry to hear that you have still a cold in your gum especially as it stops you enjoying yourself. I heard a selection of Chu Chin Chow on a band last night and it brought back to my memory the different scenes i.e. the Cobbler’s shop and the cobblers’ march into the cave etc. I would very much like to see it again if they have all new dresses. Ask my dad to get you the music he would be able to get it a little cheaper for you. Thanks very much for Mr Chapman’s address. I will write him as soon as possible. I am glad the organ is so near to being repaired. I will have to have some practice before I play in front of public again. I have been getting a little practice on the piano lately and it makes a difference too. I understand the the Paris leave is extra, he will get his Blighty leave later. I don’t think I would care for a leave there, I don’t know why, perhaps its because I don’t suppose we will be offered it. You make a mistake when you think that I will not answer your question, all I can sat is “Yes”. Well how is Mrs Lucea going on? I don’t know if Bert’s idea gives you any news does it. Please remember me to your Ma and Pa and the boys. The twins will be 17 this month, I hope they never encourage militaryism by joining if the war is over. I hear Les wants to join the Navy I don’t think a few years of that would hurt him although Mum doesn’t want him to go.

Well I will conclude now

With fondest love

From yours ever



Enclosed: paper cutting of “Buckshee” word.