Dear Emmie

Yours to hand of the 14th inst. It came with “Dad’s” letter which was also posted on the 14th. We did not have an English Mail for two days so I suppose that is why it was a long time coming. I wish I could have bought you something at Lille but there was not much there and still less at Tournai but if I go again I will have another look. I hope when I do get home it will be for good, we have about 7 or 8 men go from this Batt a day so I will be glad when my papers come through. Frank Champ always was a very quiet chap and often went about on his own before the war. I don’t think he finds much comfort at home worse luck. There is one thing, when he gets to work it generally takes him all over the county and that will suit him. We had a whist drive last night and I did not get the booby prize this time. Dad has told me a little about the organ at home so now I expect you to give me a few details. From what he says it must be a good one I thought it would have to be for him to buy it. Now you guess that I am wanting to get home to try it. I suppose you have played it havn’t you. Has it any pipes? That is asking rather a lot and what kind of swells has it? With the knee I suppose. I have got the writing pad which came for one of the boys who has gone home. Of course I wrote and told him it came and that all in our room uses it so it wont last long. “Loofa” is the word I couldn’t think of it and when I read it I wondered what it meant. I have just grasped the idea. I do smoke a pipe sometimes especially lately as cigarettes are scarce. That tobacco you sent Xmas was very nice thank you I meant to tell you so before French “cigs” cost 1 franc for twenty and are no good. The Frenchmen smoke anything; their tobacco is just like ordinary leaves dried. I cannot think why a soldier back from the trenches is transparent, why is he? What kind of a hat shall I wear in civvy life a soft felt like before I think will be best. What do you think of my brother Leslie joining the Navy rather a funny thing to do at this time too but I dare say it would be better than the Army. If I hadn’t any prospects in life I might stop in an army band but the worst of it is one is never free. You should see some of the things we get up to such as pulling down trees for fire wood etc. It seems funny but anything belonging to the Govt. such as clothes equipment etc, if we are short of anything we simply go and “scrounge” it. We scrounged a door from a school here and it is now a table in our room. One chap was “scrounging” some “froggies” (Frenchman’s) wood the other day and a dog came out and put a stop to it and nearly had a lump out of his leg. All these things must be attained before one is an efficient soldier. That is not down in K.R.R.s (Kings Rules and Regulations) which by the way nobody thoroughly knows but is a part of the men’s own creed. Well I don’t think I have any more to write about this time so will close.

With Fondest Love

From Yours Ever Will xxx


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