Nov 14th 1914
My dear Mother
You will think I am never going to write, but I have been really so busy that I never seem to have had any time to myself at all. I am seizing a few minutes after lunch in the hopes that you may hear tomorrow morning.
We may be moving from here almost at once, but are uncertain. We had orders in the middle of the week to go into billets in Marlborough so as to make room here for Canadian troops. A considerable protest has been lodged, and we are in hopes the order will be changed, as the move would be very disastrous as regards training. Discipline is our chief trouble, and is always most difficult in billets. I believe the Canadians are an awful rowdy lot, unfit to be billeted anywhere, and there is difficulty in providing them with huts. If we move at all it will be the whole brigade, and I think another brigade as well; they will go to various small towns in this district, or not far away. Among other reasons for wishing to stay here is the question of range practice. We start our fortnight on Monday and want to get it done. I don’t suppose there would be any decent range accommodation at Marlborough. I heard from Arthur two days ago; he had more questions to ask than news to give; and I must try to find time to write to him soon.
It was very sickening losing my leave last week. They are giving leave again this week; and I should have missed practically nothing had I been allowed to go. I am glad though that Mela got a short change, and was most pleased to get May’s letter giving an account of her visit.
The original scheme of training aims at finishing us by the end of February. If this is carried out, I hope for about 4 days at Christmas.
I will try to write again before long.
Your affectionate son
Cyril E Sladden