The camp has been “dry” (at Valentines). They could not get much booze- it was so far from anywhere. They only got what they could with passes when in Quebec, which was not much between 33,000 men. But here every village has a pub (although they have guards on them), and they get it anyway, so Gen. Alderson says that they are to have an open daylight drink-on-the-spot-beer-only-canteen, which I think better, as they would raise Cain anywhere they passed through if they had had none for a long time. Fact they did after 9 or 10 weeks abstinence at Valentines, and on the boat. There are 2 out of 9 that don’t touch it in our tent, me and Linds, the rest do, 3 more than necessary at present. The Q.M. is getting after them with tea, coffee, and buns; hymns, sing songs, and games every evening and a big dry tent which is crowded in the evenings. They sing really well, all the old songs.
What were the colours like. I planted the list. I will go to London tomorrow to Gran’s. Three days leave is what we get, no more. Mr. Norman wrote to say he had seen Dad and wanted to see me and put me up. Aunt Sybil said Lizzie wanted to put me up. The programme was to have lunch with A. Sybil and go to tea at 18 Chesham, to tea with Uncle Horace and Maimie. I am scared.
I will see Dad in London. I hope he is with the New Army Kitchener is raising, and gets his ‘Major’ and will get more pay as he knows his job. I don’t quite see how to get out of 18 Chesham but will. I have only a couple of free days so there will be no time. Leave is very hard to get. I doubt if we get more than this 3 days. We may get another presently if we are here for the winter. We are a pretty good bunch now and are quite smart and drilled and a good lot physically. They have opened a ‘wet canteen’ which at present is doing a lot of harm.
I enclose some P.C.s Wills Navy pics for Dick, and some roses for the rest. They are on other peoples, not mine. I will write when I have come back from London town.
Your loving Hugh