France: “We are likely to take our Xmas dinner in the trenches this year”
Somewhere in France
My Dear Mother
I am sorry that I have been so long in writing to you but I could not help it. I received your letter and card. Many thanks for same. I am glad you liked the little card I send. They are a rare thing out here and we would give any money for them. And I may tell you the French people know how to put their price on them when they know that you want them.
You need not be a bit sorry at not being able to send me any parcel for Xmas for I think I have had my share of them. I had two from Jennie and two from Louis Morton and one from Mrs Meeke and Xmas cards from the world over. I had also a letter from Mr Torrie [?] saying that he had got one of my photos and how glad he was to get it. Also giving me great praises for […] what I call nothing but doing my duty.
Jennie was telling me about that book she sent to you […] got that little piece of paper that is the section that I am in charge of No. 3. Jack is also in it. So we are always together and I hope we may get home together but I am afraid of it this time as I will have to toss up for [it] this time. I do not want to give you too much hope but if all goes and we are spared we might get a race home in the New Year. But its only might no more.
I think Jimmy might write and let me know how all is going on. He did not happen to tell us that they had a dance in Knockavannon in connection with the Black Number. But we got tickets for it out here. I think it would not have done him much harm to have let us know as we used to belong to it at one time.
Today is fine and there is a change for we have had very cold and wet weather this last while. But I believe they are having snow in Warrenpoint and I hope it does not come our way as God knows we are bad enough without it. We are likely to take our Xmas dinner in the trenches this year. But we are as contented as well there as any place else. In fact I would rather be in them as out as the time passes more quickly in them.
I am glad you have got alright again but the weather is against you getting well quickly.
Tell Annie I will write to her soon. I got her card and handkerchief. Many thanks [to] her for the same.
I think I must draw to a close as we are on duty today and I have no more thus you may excuse this scribble. I will write soon again.
I am sending you a little bit of paper with Queen Mary’s own handwriting on it we got in a pair of mittens just as a keepsake from France.
Your loving son