Original Letter

France, 16th Jan’y 1918.

My Dearest:–

My old application is away for two days and I am full of hope and pep, naturally. Everything looks great to me for leave, now – of course nothing is certain but Fritz here but still – I’m sure I’m going. Last night there were only about six letters for H.Q. but one was for me. I’m so lucky that it scares me.

It was funny that I should have thought back in November that I would get leave in my turn – in three months – I was carried away by the fact that they were going away at a great rate then. But right now there are over two hundred still ahead of me so if I had waited until my number was up it would have been April before I got away. In a day or so it will be six months since I returned from my last leave – although as a matter of fact I always reckon my leave as finishing on a much later date than July 21st – but officially that is the date it reckons from – and its a long time. Every four months would be an equitable way of giving leave to a man who has his family in France  every month would be far more satisfactory “His family lives in Bernay” so ran the application – that’s what you are officially, Dear, “family”. It wouldn’t look very official to say “his Sweetheart – the best in all the world, lives in Bernay” but it would be the truth too. I could write them a pretty good little application if it were necessary.

It rained frightfully yesterday and every thing is sodden. The mud is frightful everybody’s clothes are plastered with it. If you were to see me as I am right now boots and puttees unrecognizable, trousers nearly as bad and tunic liberally splashed with a mixture of good rich French terrain and a million dollar rain, I am quite sure that you would throw me in the lake. And I am only out a very little. I do yearn to be clean again for a little while anyway. Its almost a month since we saw a settlement and its longer since I had a real imitation of a bath. When I get my eyes on a real bath tub again it will take ammonal or some other high explosive to get me out of it.

That’s great about the good hair tonic you have for me for I am persuaded that I am perdring all my hair. I am a good old wreck and shall require a lot of attention, Dear.

But all these things seem so small and matter not at all. The big thing is that I am going to you in a few days – maybe inside a week! Here I sit to-day – probably by the end of seven days I shall be with you! It can’t be real but that is the way it looks.

I am just back from lunch and its only a miracle that I am back – the mud! In the little way I had to go I was bogged stuck completely. I borrowed a pair of hip rubber boots for the occasion but arrived home in my sock feet dragging the boots. They are a great invention for water but for mud bare feet have them all stopped.

Dearest, I adore you to-day and I am just wild at the prospect of seeing you again soon. I’m on air  I want to sing jig raise hell, slap people on the back. Its impossible for me to be rational and I don’t want to be. I may be with you as soon as this letter is. Dearest, I want you.            Your own Ross

Photographs

Bernay: