7 Jan 1916
My dear Mother
Nowadays I write so many letters that I forget when I last sent one to your or Father; though I know that I have written to one or two other people at home fairly recently, so you have at any rate had news of me if only indirectly. I shall have to keep a record of correspondence I think, to prevent me from keeping anybody too long without a letter.
Rosie’s little brother, Jock, had a terrible accident a day or two after Xmas. He was run over by an army motor-lorry and was so badly injured that it was doubtful at first whether he would live. Rosie wrote again on Monday saying that he was safely in hospital and that his case was rather more hopeful. She was terribly distressed, poor little girl; and she said that Mrs Wilkinson was almost wild with grief. So much so, that all enquiries and letters upset her dreadfully: and she asked me not to mention it to you for that reason. But evidently his condition is more promising now. The wheels passed over his face and leg, and he suffers from other injuries inflicted by projecting part of the body of the lorry, as well as from shock. I am afraid that he is bound to be rather badly disfigured. That adds to the sadness of the affair, for he was a very handsome little boy and they were very proud of his good looks. However, the human body has wonderful powers of healing, especially at early ages. I hope it may be better with him that they feared at first. At all events, I hope that his life may now be saved; the rest doesn’t matter so much.
Kath said that you and she had neither of you heard from Rosie, though you had sent her a photo and Kath had sent a book. That, of course, is explained by this accident. I will tell Rosie when I write tomorrow that I have let you know about it, and then she will feel able to write. She told me that she had received both things and that she was delighted with the photograph. Baby, she thinks, looks even sweeter than I had described her to be. And for her future Mother-in-law! – well she flatly refuses to tell me all the nice things she thinks about her. Because she is afraid I should pass them on to you. I don’t think she is going to be very much afraid of her Ma-in-law – not going to regard her as a griffin at any rate!
Captain Kinsman has left us to take up a staff post. Marvellous the acumen shown in the selection of Staff Officers! At present we have a stop-gap as Transport Office, but Serjeant Craig has been recommended for a commission, and after he has been to the usual course at the School of Instruction for officers he is to have the job. So before so very long you will see me with a third stripe and enjoying all the grandeur of a Staff-Serjeant’s position. That won’t be for six weeks at least, though.
It is wet and windy but we have had very little cold recently. A good day billet in an empty house, good shelter for the horses, and not a long journey to make our nightly delivery – all these combine to make our present position very tolerable. Also there are new luxuries springing up around us. A Divisional Canteen and Recreation room with (I speak the truth and lie not) a cinema attached has been organised. We also have now a Regimental Canteen worked by arrangement with the Exp Force Canteens; buying from them and retailing at lowest possible prices. When in full working order we shall be taking up Canteen goods with rations; so that a man may order things one day and the next day actually receive them while in the trenches – even in the front line! Rather good, isn’t it?
Love to all from your affectionate son