France: “I do not think I am going back to the Batt yet. Something has turned up for me, but I cannot tell you yet”


My Dear Mother

I now take the pleasure of writing a few lines home, hoping it will find yourself and all there still in your usual good health as this leaves myself not too bad at present. I am out of hospital again and getting on alright. I am getting down to the base depot today. So I expect to be back with the Batt in a few days. I am sure you imagined all sorts of things when I did not write to you but to tell the truth I was not able. Although it was nothing more than a severe cold. But you need have no fear for me as I am getting quite alright again. I got no letters since I went into hospital, so I am uneasy [?] to know how youse all are doing.

I had rather a nice letter from Mr Torrie on the day I left the Batt. It was very nice of him to think of writing to me.

The weather is got quite nice this last while, and I do hope it may continue. We had rather wet weather just before I went into hospital and I think that was what set me up.

Well it is wearing round to Xmas again. This is my fourth Xmas from home. Who would think it was so long, but perhaps all may be over for Xmas 1918 at least I hope it may be.

Well I shall think long [until] I get back to the Batt until I get a letter from home.

I think this is all now so I will close for this time. Hoping all at home are in good health.

I remain
Your loving son

I do not think I am going back to the Batt yet. Something has turned up for me, but I cannot tell you yet, so do not write again until you hear from me again.

We’re not sure what has happened here, but (from the next letter) he appears to be in No. 2 Convalescent Camp in Rouen. We know that he was gassed, so a recurrence of respiratory infection could have put him in hospital.

Mr Torrie was Rev. Edwin George Torrie, the minister of Kingsmills Presbyterian Church from 1914-1920, who served as a Private in the Royal Army Medical Corps from May 1916 until June 1919. Source: History of Kingsmills Presbyterian Church.