My dear Mother
An edict has just been issued stopping all leave in this Division, so my application for a special pass falls to the ground. I was afraid that it would be a fruitless request, especially as they hung the thing up, saying neither yea nor nay. It is very disappointing not being able to get down to see you and if we are indeed going off shortly it is unlikely that there will be an opportunity of getting so much as three days, before departing. More likely I shall just be able to rush down and rush back again with an interval of a few short hours. I will come down anyhow. Everything seems to point to an early move and I have heard several definite dates given by various tolerably well informed people – the 6th, 8th and 13th January have all be stated. It would have been very good to have continued the unbroken sequence of Christmases that I have spent at home. You may be sure that I shall think of you all (though the “all” will be but a small one) and shall drink a bumper health to you all at the Section dinner that we have arranged to have in lieu of those from which Army Orders have cut us off. So here is a Merry Christmas to you all. I can’t boggle (like some people) at the “Merry” attribute. What else should we be but merry – despite everything – when our country is doing the finest deed it has done in a hundred years.
Give my Christmas greetings to all friends at home whom I might have met if I had been able to come down.
Very much love to you all from
Your affectionate son
PS – I have just received a letter of yours dated the 19th. It went partly astray and was not handed me till a few minutes ago. I was afraid you would be wondering what I was going to do. I was waiting for an answer to my application for leave.