22 Oct 1914
My dear Mother
Father’s letter to me has just come in, with its news about many people which I was very glad to get. Things are so apt to get left out of letters unless they follow each other in close sequence – as, for instance, Mela’s to Boo, and when there is nobody else from whose correspondence one can pick up things that have been dropped it is very easy to be left quite without news of some things or people. The last I had heard of Uncle Fred was that he was still in Brussels and I had often wondered whether he, as an English subject, had escaped arrest. I am glad he got away in safety. Of course this is bound to mean very heavy loss to him; I suppose this war practically destroys the Continental Gas Company. I saw Captain Tanner’s name in the Casualty List, the day before yesterday. I hope he is not badly touched. The bare report “Wounded” is very unsatisfactory; it conveys so very little. I think it would be better to say nothing until fuller information can be given.
By the way, I am sorry I never thanked you for the box of fruit you sent. It arrived just before my second inoculation took place, and others were much more concerned with the consumption of it than myself: though I managed to recover in time to get some of it and enjoyed it very much.
I hope to get leave to go to London next Sunday. If I can get a pass I shall make a very early start and walk to Watford to catch the 5.15 am train which will enable me to get to Sydenham in time for breakfast. One does not want to waste much of the short leave that one is able to get here.
I believe we are to move into fresh billets at or near Watford very soon. Many of the present barns are considered unsuitable for wet weather, so they are looking out for billets in houses; I expect we shall find ourselves posted in some horrible little suburb of Watford.
I have been let in this morning to look after things while the Battalion is out for a long field day. Consequently this is the third letter I have written; which constitutes a record. However I must go and see about the midday feeding of the few sick horses that have not gone out, so I will finish.
Love to you all from
Your affectionate son