10 March 1916

Hut L 9
Aust Intermediate Depot
Abbey Wood 10/3/16

Dear Homefolks,
Mum yours of 19th September to hand yesterday & Viola’s of 21st Jany to hand a day or so before it. 5½ months isn’t too bad for a letter is it? I also received with it in the same batch one from Elsie early in Sept & another in Dec & another in Jany & they all arrive here together. The P.O. is improving wonderfully.

In yours Mum, you suppose it will be about the 12th of Oct when I get it. Did you mean in 1915 or 1916 _ _ _. Thanks all the same for your good wishes. Trust your blue eyed schemer to dodge all the bullets bombs, pip squeaks, & other unpleasantries that our friend the enemy inflicts on us. Well Mum yours is so old that I’ve answered or commented on the rest of it long ago, so now I’ll take a deep breath, throw my chest out, head back, my little ### in & tackle Violas epistle round neck & see if I can do anything with it, before getting down to the more ### news of the moment.

Well Viola I’m ready now. First of all, your hopes have been fulfilled. I have got better (in more ways than one tho you  maint bleeve it). I’m enjoying life in Eng as far as is possible considering that all my hopes & desires are abroad. I’m not moping, or groping, or loping – merely hoping. I’m not back in the firing line & I am "in fact OK". There now. I feel better already.

I hope Viola that you put in a good word for me to Florrie R. when she was there _ _ _. Aren’t I terrible. Shocking. I wonder does your hero correspond with as many other young ladies as I do _ _ _. Don’t worry over me tho I know which side my butter the bread is on.

I have got a vague recollection, now that you remind me, of you telling me you had a canary. So he whistles beautifully eh! & he’s a very pretty little bird. You know Viola, it just shows what strange things happen in war time doesn’t it.

Well, no I haven’t. Mum has scarcely ever mentioned W.F. to me. Perhaps she doesn’t find him the absorbing topic for conversation that you do. Well you’re a corker Viola & no error. You say you hope that I’ll meet him & all that & beyond giving me the information that he’s in the Artillery, you don’t give me the faintest chance of looking him up. You know it’s rather a hopeless task trying to find what particular battery he’s in when there’s dozens of batteries. Trot along his full regimental address I’ll look him up.

I haven’t had any mail from Vivie, Percy, or Vernie for ever so long so I do not know how things are farring with them.

I think I’ll be leaving for Weymouth soon – probably Monday, but I can’t say for certain.

I’m on guard at present & its 3.15am in the morning now – you all will be seeing about your dinners. There’s been little H [hell?] to pay here too. A lot of prisoners got out & the Sgt & two men are in the Klink over it & I may be there before its done with, tho personally I’m quite blameless. I’m trying to get the weekend off to go to Hounslow. A nurse friend of Mrs M’s gave me a lovely active service medicine outfit & its splendid. Can carry it in my pocket & it has remedies for all the most common complaints. Well Dear Mum & Dad & Sisters & Brothers, I’ll close now with best love, your loving son & brother Bert






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