7th July 17
Dear Uncle Julius
It is rather late to send birthday greeting, but Juliet told me in her letter, the 25th of June was your 70th birthday, and I send you my congratulations and best wishes that you may continue in good health to enjoy many more birthdays to come. I wonder how many more of the New Zealand Sladdens have a chance of visiting Badsey. I am the sixth of the clan that you have seen, and if I am anything of a prophet, Arthur will be the next. He has talked about a trip for a long time and if any of us have earned a holiday, Arthur has. He has given the best years of his life to the service of the bench and now he is putting all his energies into the work on the ranch and he will have to have a respite some time.
We had hoped that this summer might see the end of hostilities but it almost seems now that we shall have to wait till 1918 before the job is finished. I think there will be still substantial results gained on this front during the present summer and autumn but there is plenty of evidence that Germany is able to stand a good many blows yet. The speeches of Lloyd George and others as regards the food question have been very reassuring lately and also his reference to the supply of guns and munitions. As for the latter, we have been given proof that after battering down some of the Germans' strongest defensive fronts, there are still immense supplies of material still on hand.
I am having quite a good time of it over here but there is not very much that I can write about. I have not had any letters from home yet but I have sent my address to the Base post office over here, and to the Base Office in London, also to the Corporal in change of the mail for our platoon at the lines, so they are bound to reach me some time. It will be good to have news from home.
I don't think I have anything more to write about now but I will continue to let you know how I am faring over here.
Your affectionate nephew