I'm sorry for the chaps opposite us.

FRANCE SALIEUT 26th June, 1916

I received a couple of letter of the new mail yesterday, but so far yours are still traveling. I would have written yesterday (Sunday) only I thought I would have been sure to have got one from you today, but it was not to be. I got one from H.R.H. Bill, written from the Caulfield Hospital, and as he said that he would be there for at least three months, I've written him a brief reply, but of course, if he's departed Dad can have the honour (?) of reviewing Bill's epistle. Those snaps of Bill's aren't too bad are they? I wish he had sent more of home. The one of Mabel and Olive is good and haven't they grown. Norm Allen said “Cripes, the elder one is a podge isn't she?” Of course I said “Certainly not” but he wouldn't believe me. Anyhow, I'd rather see her that way than only weighing six stone, and Olive looks well standing as straight as a soldier – a regular square jaw- no nonsense air about her too. I'll be glad to get some more from home. Bill seemed to be fretting to get away, but like everybody else, as soon as the boat leaves the pier he will be wondering when he will be coming back, and especially after he has been away as long as us.

We see by the papers that the Russians are making good headway. I wish they would never stop until they reach Berlin, but I guess that would be too much to ask for. Things are still quiet around these parts, a bit of artillery work and an occasional raid on his trenches is all that goes on – just to keep his nerves on the jump.

We had a bit excitement on Saturday night, not excitement, but an incident serves to break the monotony of things. One of our planes was patrolling the trenches at about seven o'clock in the evening, when all of a sudden , a Fokker appeared on the scene and swooped down on our chap, who only had a slow old bus, and who turned as if to make off. Well, when the Hun was almost on our fellow we heard a couple of machine gun spurts and lo and behold, Mr. Fokker was making a dive earthwards. Of course, the occupants of both trenches were watching the show, and our fellows sent up a derisive cheer,but when Fritz's plane was almost down, she righted and turning, flew slowly back between their lines. So then all the Fritzes in the opposite trench gave a bit of a Hooray, and just to show there was no animosity, sent over a few aerial torpedoes and grenades, which made quite a noise when they burst. It was a silly thing for him to do, for they might have hurt someone, they ought, but as a rule, he is very quiet and civil and unless we start, he doesn't worry us at all, but our fellows don't seem to be able to keep quiet.

I'm sorry for the chaps opposite us. They are not there because they like it, and I bet that if Knuts who engineered the war in the first instance had to fight in the front line trench, that there would never have been a scrap, We've got no enemity (?) against them and don't suppose he has against us. It's a funny world, isn't it?

Ernie. T. has been attached to us until the last couple of days, but has now gone back to his proper Corps. He was well and happy when I last saw him.

We hear that our mails now are only to be dispatched from here monthly, but I don't know if that is true. We hear so many Furphies that one doesn't know what to believe, but if it is true it's pretty stiff on you folk at home, and hardly seems a fair thing.

A chap has just been round and wants to bet us any odds that we will be home for the Melbourne Cup. I believe I'll take him up. I've got the best part of 40 Francs and I promise to do my best to lose the bet, but it's possible and might easily happen. Just fancy being home again! Oh, stop it!

Ernest is still well, and only a stone's throw away. I haven't heard from Ralph, lucky beggar, but am expecting him back any day.

Well Mother, I've told you all the news I know, and still you know nothing so I guess I had better say Goodbye, hoping you are well.

P.S. I often see Miss Upston's brother who is in the 23rd. He is well and doing good work.

P.P.S. Is enemity spelt right?

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