David to May June 8th 1917
Had a very easy day today.
We paraded at 7.30 and did drill, bayonet fighting, and musketry during the morning.
Then we had to practice marching past again and saluting.
This afternoon the company was out again practicing bayonet fighting for the competition that is coming off. I have got two sections that are pretty good and I am hoping that one of them will come out top of the company, if not of the battalion.
My platoon is I think the strongest in the company at present (I have got 240 men) but the numbers are constantly changing as you get men taken away for all sorts and conditions of things.
Headquarters send along and say they want 4+ men to train as stretcher bearers, or scouts, or pioneers, or snipers, or some fancy business of their own and they always add that they must be good men and in consequence you always send the men you can most easily part with. But this sort of thing is an awful nuisance and some-times you have to let men go that are doing their own particular jobs very well indeed and this splits your sections up. Only today, a man who is in my platoon but has been doing one of these special jobs, got punished for something and is returned to the platoon and Campbell (without saying anything to me) promptly put one of my best rifle grenadiers in his place. Of course I objected to it and I am getting him back again, but still thats the sort of thing that goes on.
I have just censored my platoon’s letters. Its rather astonishing how these fellows spend their money (they have just been been paid) on gorgeous, but very useless, handkerchiefs and wonderful works of art in the shape of postcards, costing anything up to a franc, I suppose, and then send them home by registered post and you know perfectly well that their wives must have all their work cut out to keep the kids fed.
More and more good news today, which I expect by this time you will have heard.
The guns have been pretty silent all day but started again a little while back. The Germans have caught it with avengeance this time.
June 8th 1917
Another letter from you today (5th).
I am glad Mrs Muggridge is getting better.
I do wish your girls wouldn’t catch things like mumps and measles and I wish still more that it wasn’t near you.
I hope you get them back quickly, because of the work and also that you get Miss Hebblethwaite. Of course you are going to accept the chief’s off er to let the men write some of the policies. Do them good and make them appreciate some of the things you do for them.
Fancy you ever dreaming of making grimaces. Can’t image you being so unlady-like as to put your tongue out even. Now I come to think of it I really believe I do remember your doing it – and didn’t you get kissed by way of punishment?
I don’t know whether I got any bruises from the horse because I didn’t look, but there are all sorts of places that want kissing awfully badly.
“Alright, I’ll lie down” – “No, you can’t have my head there tonight “ – “I must cuddle you occasionally.”