Dear Emmie

It is a dirty night tonight pouring of rain and it is not worth going out so I will endeavour to write you a few lines. The letters are not generally censored now and we have to put our names on the outside of the envelope and stick them down. We had our first book keeping class today and I am all mixed up with debits and credits. I suppose I will see though it all soon. We are doing the double entry system. The last time I wrote I said that I wouldn’t write to H Days place until I heard from them but I changed my mind and wrote to Harold last night. I do expect an answer this time. I had a letter from home today and Dad gives me one guess at the surprise and I have said an organ. I knew it was something to do with music and only an organ or a “baby grand” would be a surprise. If hey had said nothing about it until I got home the “Surprise” would have worked. It does seem a long time now since I saw you and I hope that the leave livens up a bit. It seems to have almost stopped. I think I am in the first 100 now so I ought to be home before March. Perhaps I will have my ticket by then. We are having another whist drive next Tuesday and I see that I don’t get the booby prize next time. I had a letter from Don who is in hospital, the other day and it took ten days to get here and he is in France so how about some of your letters being delayed: I am lucky to get them in six days. When he wrote he was still queer but he ought to be better by now.

Dad tells me that it is hard to get men out of the Army in our trade as it is not essential but I dare say allowances are made for apprentices.

We haven’t had any butter issue for about six days and we have to have bread and bread unless there is jam. I don’t seem to eat so much bread lately I am always giving some away to the civvies. I suppose it is because we get very little exercise but ce n’est fait rien. We pronounce this san fair re ang as all the people do. It means “it doesn’t matter” but literally is: this makes nothing. It is surprising how we get on with the one or two words we know but we can always make ourselves understood even if we turn ourselves down side up with expostulations (good word that). One of the boys overstayed his leave 9 days and only got 16 days clink. (excuse slang) Another boy said something pretty to a sergeant and he got 18 days. We come off very lenient lately.

There are some of our colonial troops just returning to France after about two years in Blighty dodging it on absentees and they are surprised to find their names taken off the Batt roll. They get let off lightly but if it was an Imperial he would get about ten years. It is now neuf hour et vingt minutes so I will close.

With Fondest Love

From Will xxx

PS Please excuse writing as I have been very quick.

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