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France

9/5/17

My Dear Darling Wife,

I have just got a chance to send you a letter on [??] a friend of mine is going to England and will post this for me. So I can tell you all about myself and what I have been doing.

Well first of all I send you my best love, all of it dearie, and I hope you are all well at home. Oh how I wish I was back again with you all. I am dreadfully homesick and full up with it being so long away. I long and pray for my return to my loved ones. How I miss you all, especially to have you, dear heart, fussing around me and how I long for a kiss and to see your dear face again and to hold you in my arms’ And the children too. I love them so. I often picture myself at home again, how happy we will be. In your last letter you write you want me back. I want you, too, my dearie with all my heart and soul. I have not had any word or cable yet from you about the new [??]. I do hope you are well and all has gone well. I am almost nervous to hear the news but one of our boys had to wait 5 weeks for a cable so I suppose as we have been moving about it has been delayed. I am so anxious. I wish I was home again with you all. I often dream of you sweetheart. I do hope you are well and strong. I am so [??] myself strong and in the best of health.

Dearie I have written do far in this letter as a husband and father. Now I must write as a soldier.

You know dear that when I joined the “colours” I had to sacrifice you and the children, your love and my home for King and country. I felt it was my duty and I do not regret it. I think every man must do the same and do his bit with all his might. If he is a man he will give up all to do his duty, oh it is hard. I had prayed and thought over it and found it was the right thing to do. If I had not come I would have felt guilty all my life. I know, dear wife, it made things very hard for you especially in your state of health and the “wee one “ coming too and I left a lot of responsibilities on you but I knew with your strength of character you could do it and I trusted you chum. I quite realise all you have to do but I will soon b hone to take them up again. You my dear are doing your bit just as much as I am. I am so glad that you pray for me so hard. Your prayers will be answered and I am glad that you keep in touch with Christ – you will receive strength and comfort and help from day to day. Chum, stick to your religion, it is the best thing you have “ Take it all to God in prayer”, It is wonderful the love Christ has for us. Pray hard every day, pray hard for everything and you will get eternal rest. It has been everything to me and I put all my trust in God’s wonderful love for us all. I am going forward from day to day in perfect confidence and trust and am quite happy. No dearie I have told you that I have new work. I was picked out for the job, I is very responsible and a lot will depend on me. I suppose my attention to my old work and the success it was gave me the start. I have one of the most brainy jobs in the service. I am in the intelligence corps and receiving special training under staff officers and I will make a success of it too.  And I have good chance of promotion and hope to come back with stars on my shoulder. It is most interesting work and I will know a lot of what is going on. I have to make reports on all sorts of things to headquarters, these are all filed. I have got a ‘roaming commission’ and can go practically anywhere and will see a good amount of the country and am responsible to only the big chiefs. I will have the best field gasses, telescopes and equipment that can be procured to help me do my work. I will have a separate dugout to live in and also a sniper [??]. I am one of the picked shots but I will not write about that as it is too awful. I had to do it as I was a “marksman” but will just say that the guns are awful. For every one of the enemy a sniper gets he puts a nick in his rifle. Some of the rifles have a great number of nicks and we are proud of them. I told you I was developing into a bloodthirsty brute – but we have to do it in war.

Thank God when it is over and peace comes again. We have plenty of good food and clothes and the weather is getting warm and the country itself is very lovely. We have our church services and I love to go to communion – it makes a new man of me. I have sent you by this mail 3 small souvenirs. You can put 2 and 2 together as to where we have been and are at present, they are not very good things but the best I could get and I thought I would have to carry them all through the game with me. I did not know this chance to send them would come or else I would have got a better things. As you know it is an effort to carry anything- we can only bring what we can carry n our pockets and we sometimes get wet through and by the time I have my pipe and matches and tobacco and knife and a few buttons etc., my pockets are full. We carry about 100lbs on our backs, made up of clothes, blanket and ammunition and maps so you see even a few [??] tell up in weight. We will not even carry a spare pair of socks because the weight is dreadfully heavy sometimes when we are tired.

But all the same we are having a good time and lots of fun. In a few days I will be leaving Dan. I will see him often but I will be going to good old friends. I still have plenty of money and my stripes. I have not drawn all of my pay. I do not use it all, but I keep it for emergencies. I will get a trip to England soon and will go to your uncle John [??] in Stile

….

Now dear wife, I send you all my love and kisses for the children

From Soldier???

Harry??? 

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