Dear Emmie

I have not heard from you for a few days now but hope to have a letter by tomorrow. I suppose they have gone to the Reception Camp. I was buglar on guard last night: the guard room was a stable and rather draughty and an old French woman was kind enough to give us hot coffee at 10pm and 5.30am. but the funny part I was going to tell you was how I had to get up about four times in the night to have a rest. I think it sounds rather funny but it is a common occurance when we are crowded. It has been raining today and is very miserable out.

We are now in a small village named Muchin [?] but I think we are going on to Tournai in a couple of days time. For winter billets it is suggested so I hope and guess they will not be barns as we are in now. We are having classes on various subjects and I am in for a bit of book keeping. (Please excuse the ups and downs of this letter but it is nearly dark.) The various particulars wanted for the classes are Name, No. address, religion, last job, experience and about one hundred and one other things. I was told that the Government are helping apprentices by making an allowance so if I go back as an apprentice it will not [be] so bad.

I think this last advance made by us was wonderful: the way the engineers got bridges over rivers was very smart. A bridge strong enough for any load could be thrown over a river at an average time of about 6 hours.

Towards the end I think Gas was used in nearly every shell by the Germans, but there was not so much metal in them. The nearest I had a shell burst to me was about 15 yards so I was lucky compared with some. I happened to be behind a cooker at the time and a piece of shrapnel broke the shaft and punctured a petrol can at my feet but the ear is over now and I don’t suppose all this interests you only I havn’t much more to write about. It is Thursday today so I suppose you are off to G.F.S. or club well I won’t be there to meet you for some little time but I hope that goes fast.

Well I will now conclude

With Best Love from Will

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