9 Mch 1915
My dear Kath
It is always wise “to take a book in case” – so in order to be prepared for everything or anything I send an envelope containing my will and directions concerning the same: will you put it in my dispatch box, please. What reason for this do you ask?! Why, we are off to France in the early hours of the morning of Friday. A month ago the Battalion was in doleful dumps and hopes were at a low ebb. The Treasury, we had heard, strongly opposed our being sent out owing to the cost to their pension fund of each casualty. I find that it was indeed a fact and that they fought very hard against our going: they did the same last September and won. The time the War Office defeated them gloriously. Long live the War Office! We are all as merry as grigs and in fine fettle.
I say we go to France. That is not certain; but it is practically so. It might be the Dardanelles but I know that all or half the Brigade Staff Officers have been in France for the last week, so that makes it absolutely safe. Anyway, you will know from my first letter. I do not know Boo’s address or I would write to him. Tell him I am frightfully bucked at going out before my younger brother; though I hope he will follow after at a reasonably close interval, even as he did 25 years ago.
Lintott has left us, having obtained a commission in the armoured bar service attached to the Naval Air Wing. Craig is now sergeant and is making a famous good one. I have not yet been promoted, but I expect to be in tomorrow’s orders as a full Corporal or perhaps a Lance-Sergeant.
We are equipped now to the last button. Entirely new harness (this is stiff stuff to work into condition in less than a week), new wagons, new everything, all beautiful stuff. I wish you could be here to see us move off.
Your loving brother
PS – My address will be: Transport Section, 1/15 Co of London Battalion, 1/4 London Infantry Brigade, 1/2 London Division, British Expeditionary Force, GPO London.
I feel most extravagantly proud of that address!