Norman – Mattie: 18 Jun 1918

Ward 16
No 1 New Zealand General Hospital
Brockenhurst, Hants
June 18th 1918
Dear Mattie,
Your letter containing Douglas’ photo arrived a few days ago. He seems to be growing fast and if he is nearly so big a trick as he looks I am afraid that you are in for a busy time. I have not seen his father yet but I have had two letters from him – one from Sling Camp and one from the N.Z. Base in France. The last was written somewhere about March but as I have only received a few of the letters written to me from those I knew in France I can only conclude that his later letters are travelling around France looking for me. I suppose I will get them sometime around December.

I hear that Roy has got an Indian missionary craze. Tell him not to bother going so far. If he wants to convert Heathen there will be no lack of material “when the boys come home”.

Ah me! One has to live with his fellow man to know him and the Western Front doesn’t exactly bring out the softer side of a man’s nature in spit of the Anzac tosh the “Grannie” deals out so lavishly. The high souled superman is painfully hard to find among those who are cursing the war and hoping for an early return to N.Z. I am still “lead swinging”. Neil’s leave has been postponed so I have withdrawn my application for early leave . We will get it together at the finish. What a time we will have. Our luck so far has been such as to altogether go beyond our wildest hopes. I hope it will see us through to the finish which can’t be so far off now. I am now an “up” patient in “blues”. Vic knows the dress – white shirt, red tie, blue suit. Sometimes things fit well. More often they don’t. The suit I have on now would take up xxhee twice. My temperature is back to normal again and I am getting as fit as a fiddle. I don’t know how I shall ever come down to work again. I think that I shall be lazy for the rest of my life.

Au revoire