Original Letter


                        9th Dec. 1917.


My Dearest Maidie:–

Miller got a parcel to-day from the I.O.D.E. Creemore and we have been trying to frame up a suitable reply in verse. We have laughed ourselves weary and only accomplished three verses – indifferent bad verses – and haven’t got in a word about the parcel yet. Our first verse was:

“In a little town in Northern France

Not far behind the lines,

Where tired Battalions come to rest,

To shine ’em up, to rub ’em up,

To polish, gloss and brush ’em up

And taste the country’s wines.”
Well it went along like that smoothly for three verses but on the fourth Miller suggested “Your parcel came and bucked me up” and spilled the beans. Afterwards when Turk and I had washed his mouth out with ashes we decided the safest thing to do was to write at the top of our verse the Organisation we were writing to so as to avoid breaks. But our inspiration was missing after we had squared away and they aren’t thanked for their parcel yet.

Outside of this we haven’t had much fun ce matin, no good jokes except Turk going on parade. We have been taking turns here in this dreadful rite. Its only an hour each morning and its pretty good exercise. I have been out two or three times and enjoyed it. But Turk absolutely refuses to see any fun in it. We keep one set of equipment and one rifle in a high state of brilliancy and we wear it in turn. Constant shining (by the Runner) has made this outfit a credit to the Battalion and each day on parade one of us receives congratulations from the Officer – who has not yet tumbled to the fact that all three wear in turn the same harness and that he peers down the barrel of the same rifle each day. Of course when we move we must all be out and there will be great competition for the shiny harness. On move days I am always up pretty early in the morning.

This morning being Sunday, Dad at my billet did not go down in the mine and he wakened me at 7.15 and gave me a cup of coffee. Its hard to imagine lying in bed until 7.15  real bed, white sheets  and then having some one bring coffee. Its different, for instance, to writhing in blankets you know are lousy on a muddy floor and dodging up at all hours grabbing a mess tin and hunting your breakfast somewhere out yonder in the muddy slippy dark. And the pity of it is that I do not appreciate this and hone for the other. This with you would be Heaven. Without you it only makes me terribly homesick. There never can be anything approaching contentment for me, any time any where without you. I’ve tried all roads and I know what I’m talking about. You fill my mind all the time night and day, sleeping, waking, talking. You are always in my thoughts. I love you, Dearest, an[d] ever so much. If you say its less than you love me, all right, it must be less but it means that you love me an awful lot. When I get to you again on leave or for good you are going to have a pretty rough time for I swear that you never will be out of my sight for a minute. I’ve been starved for you so long that I can never make up for it. What are you going to say? Au revoir, my own Dearest.

            Your own Ross