18 April 1917

Archive Ref: IE IJA /J2/83_Letter to his father_(128) (2/2)

B.E.Force

18/4/17

My dearest Father

We got back to our old quarters yesterday evening after a hard march of three days and I am writing from my comfortable cement billet, which I exchange tomorrow for a spell in the trenches. The final stage of our journey was a very trying one. The weather has got bad again – it is snowing now heavily as I write-and we had to face the cobble stone at six in the morning with a hurricane of rain+sleet which slashed like a whip.

However even the long French roads have an end and we finally reached our destination pretty well worn out+sore of foot not to speak of the shoulders with tongues hanging out for a bite and a sup, a thing not to be wondered at seeing we had tramped for eight hours without a morsel of food.

The change has done us all an amount of good, though I explained in my last letter. The “rest” was not much of a rest for me, the men being so much scattered about the country. In fact, I spent most of the time on my bicycle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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riding around on my horse-bike  like a second Napoleon, one morning covering a good twelve miles without drawing rein, so that I have had my share of exercise and fresh air which have left me fit as a fiddle.

Though things are lively enough elsewhere all is very quiet in our front the Boche having quite enough to think of, I expect. We do not know our future movements, but it is likely we shall remain as we are for some weeks at least, though just now events move rapidly and well thank God.

Little of interest happened during the stay in the rear, which finished all too quickly for all of us. I shall send you a few jottings later on as I want to post you this, and I have many little things to do and several  letters to write.

I hope Bob + Jennie had a good time in Queenstown + found the old missionry well + fit with an appetite for the glorious cake sharpened by 40 days fast. I expect the said cake has been honourably buried long since.

With much love to everybody

The dearest Father

Your loving son

Will.