Original Letter

France

                        25th Dec. 1917.

 

My Dearest Maidie:–

It’s just three o’clock in the afternoon and we are all very sober ­– perforce. The boys have just got in from their Christmas dinner and they say it was great. This afternoon, after he has recovered from the effects of his dinner, Turk aims to go down to the Transport Lines, where rumour has it there is lots to drink and get a proper swizzling.

The mail came in just as I started writing and I got your letter wishing me a Merry Christmas and the other paupers. I told Turk and Miller your message but Turk says its too late – this is something that has to be done. Miller had five francs and there is no place to spend it – he will probably throw it in the fire in the end. My dinner is to-night and I am hungry as a wolf already.

Who do you think walked in here this morning to see me? None other than Gordon Gill! He is a driver in the 4th Field Coy C.E. and has been out here since December 1915 and has only had one leave of six days. He looks just the same as of yore perhaps a little chastened. He wanted me to ask you to remember him to Georgia and the folk at home when you are writing them. But imagine six days leave in two years! Poor old Gordon.

I had a Christmas Card from Wally Field to-day – he used to be in Rouen and I’ve seen him once since I came up – about three months ago. What did I do but sit down and write him a letter! From now until New Years I am going to try and write one letter per day. I mean one more than usual. Apart from your collection letters from me must be rarer than letters of any other man in the world ancient or modern. I have made a start, yesterday I wrote Wax.

The C.O. went around to the huts when the men were dining and made a little speech. They cheered him to the echo. He is awfully popular and avec raison.

Dearest, its [a] very sad state of affairs about your bathing facilities. It should be run on a roster so that a different person is first on each bathing parade. Sometimes we are slightly out of luck here. We are supposed to get clean towels from the Baths each time we bath but there is always a slight hitch with regard to towels and the last time I got one was about three months ago. I have had lots of clean ones since then but I bought them. I expect that according to honest to God standards of cleanliness that I’m as dirty as a pig.

I must have made quite a hit the last time I made a speech the time I got swizzled at the Sergeants party as I am down for another to-night! Isn’t it pathetic? If, for instance, I were called on to propose a toast to the King all I could say would be God save him – that’s all I know about him. His lot must be a hard one since the only time his name is mentioned is in prayers. Well, I am glad that you can’t hear me making goat of myself.

Sweetheart, I adore you madly [with] every bit of the love I am capable of and that’s not half of it. I just long for the day when I’ll be with you. Away from you life is just eating sleeping and breathing –­ with you it is constant heaven. Love me hard, Dearest.

            Your own

                        Ross

Photographs

Rouen: Rouen: Rouen: Rouen: Rouen: