Original Letter


My Maidie:-

Will you believe me when I write you that I am living in a real city – true it is a more or less desolate frayed tattered city but still nevertheless a city. I should hate to be the census taker and even if the census man found every civilian the total would fall far short of the required 10,000 but at one time it must have had a big population. We moved back last night and the less said about the move the better but we got in here at six this morning and everyone is well housed. Our company officers are housed in four large rooms and a cavernous kitchen in a fine old house facing the courtyard which is or has been a fine garden. On three sides there is a verandah which has been closed in with glass. Owing to causes and reasons obvious all that remains of the glass roof and wall is a splendid framework to put glass in. There is a nice fireplace and a huge pier glass in each room and in the room we us[e] as a dining room and lounge a huge table and a davenport. After we got in this a.m. and saw our men housed and fed (see Notes on the Responsibilities of Platoon Commanders : Playfair : Bexhill : May-Aug. 1918) we came around to our quarters and congregated around our big fireplace and luxuriated until breakfast was ready. Then after breakfast we went to bed and slept until 12.30. When I wakened what was on my table but two letters from you my parcel and “Land & Water”. Sweetheart the letters were great and everything in the parcel was perfectly lovely. The pyjamas are glorious and I love the colour. The towel and sponge and the dandy little mirror – its a beauty – the handkerchiefs and the good little surprise – the tomatoes! You are just a perfectly glorious little kindhearted thoughtful loving angel and I could hug you to pieces. Thanks thousands, Dearest, everything is complete. Bywell had my washing off first thing this morning and when I got up at noon made me put on my fine shoes – the others required washing, he said. He’s a martinet. I expect that he will let me wear my good tunic occasionally now.

I am glad that you had the trip to town and glad that you enjoyed “Shanghai” I am sure that it was a good show.

Since I wrote the above we have been out to tea! And yet lots of people at home worry over the men out here and think they are in hard luck! We had beaucoup tea and biscuits – there was a piano, a phonograph and lots of reading. This promises to be the life. There is only a scattering of civilian population – mostly small shop keepers well on the make which is quite right. The cathedral which was one of the most beautiful in France is well wrecked – friend Hun – his work.

I am in my own room now at a real table and sitting on a real chair. There is a good fire in my fireplace. It’s just getting dusk and presently I shall light my pipe and sit in front of my fire and peruse Land & Water and dream a little – weave dreams and pretend a lot – pretend I am in my own home and have my Sweetheart beside me – at first her hand will be in mine and she will be leaning against my shoulder. Then a little later she will come on my knee and I shall hold her tight and even in pretence my brain will reel with happiness. Angel I adore you to-day – always. I love you with every spark of love I am capable of. You are my sweetheart of all the world. All my love and kisses.

            Your own



P.S. I am forwarding Tommy’s letter – and I’m glad you wrote him. Geordie wrote me – enclosed the letter in one to Milburn who is flourishing.