if you were to buy a pound of army biscuits I bet that they would last over three years

SOMEWHERE IN FRANCE, JULY 16th, 1916.

A fair portion of mail arrived last night and I was fortunate enough to get two of yours, also a parcel, that has, I think, been on its way for a considerable period, one that was sewn up in the black cloth containing chocolate from Bill, toffee from Olive, socks from you. I think that's the lot. Thanks very much. Wasn't it posted in late February, or late March? Taken its time hasn't it? I also received Amy's birthday present, a bonza knife, fork, spoon combination – a great idea and sundry other things, that also has been on the road for months, both given up for lost long since. I also received a good bundle of letters, Dad and Bill and Ettie (4), Oll, Les and Amy (2) – not a bad haul was it? And, oh, such a bundle of papers! Thank you very much.

I was very interested in the accounts of the Anzacs (oh, what a word) in France. We aren't doing nearly as much as the Tommies or Canadians, yet it's Anzac from start to finish.

(Interval of ten miles)

Orders came all of a sudden to move off at once, so your truly had to collect his few belongings, jam them in his pack, then stamp his overcoat in on top with his foot, and march off. It wasn't a bad march although ten miles is quite far enough, also getting dark, so I won't be able to write much.

I've just been looking around the village, but there's nothing doing – R.C. Church for solders and a Tommie's picture show but I didn't fancy either, so here I are!

We always can tell when are going to shift, for invariably, our papers are delivered and we have to leave behind dozens of hastily scanned dailies, weeklies, periodicals, but I brought all the insides of mine that I have not read.

I haven't any idea where Andy Boyd is now, for all the 6 -7-8 reinforcements of 6th Brigade were sent to make up one of the new divisions in Egypt - 5th I think – but you will know before this reaches you I know. Just how anxious Mrs. Mitchell would be, but even now I know no more than I did at first – not even Headquarters have the slightest idea of how or where he is , but as I afore said I'd have given him a tenner for it (have just received yours of the 24th May). So that makes three of yours this mail but they are not taking any letters from us, but only Field Service cards, so I will enclose this short epistle with last weeks which I still have in my possession.

My word, what a great saving in rations since us two big eaters have temporarily left the maternal roof. Fancy one tin of jam lasting three weeks, also 1 Ib of biscuits likewise. Fancy Bill and I accounting for all that and if you were to buy a pound of army biscuits instead of current luncheons I bet that they would last over three years. They could last forever as far as I'm concerned.

We are billeted in a place where many members of the famous Black Watch have written their names. They left the place in a very dirty state anyhow.

These are very slow old Sundays, just the same as any other day – not even a good Sunday dinner to help us to respect the day, let alone the Church. Nearly all of our moves are done on Sunday. As soon as we entered the village it began to pour and it looks as if it is set in for years. The place has a very appropriate name – Raineville. There is absolutely no news Mother, so I won't tell you any will I? I would if I could. Hope are are still well and all the nips likewise. Goodbye from your affectionate son. P.S. Ernie is still O.K. Dorey also

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