This is a photograph of a bridge which was blown up by the German but is still passable on foot. Most of the other bridges for traffic were completely destroyed. Will write a letter tomorrow.
Love from Will x
I hope to get a letter from you today. I had one about three days ago from you. Three men were demobilised from this Batt yesterday and one actually refused his ticket. You’ll catch me doing that “I should shay sho.” All men who have been out here fourty months or more have to parade at orderly room tomorrow so I suppose they will be off soon. We have another whist drive tomorrow night but I see that I don’t get booby prize next time. I think I am going to Tournai on the 10th inst for four days. By all accounts there is some life there. It will be a bit of a change for this place is rather quiet. Please will you send me one of long rough things used as sponges for washing. I forget the name of them but I dare say you know what I mean. There is not much to write about so I will finish this when I get that letter this afternoon / I will have to close this letter but promise you a longer for the next.
From Will xxx
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