Norman – Mother: 26 Jul 1918

Shakespeare Hut
(Friday) July 26th 1918
Dear Mother,
I am coming near to the end of my fourteen days leave now. I have been up to Glasgow but found things generally rather depressing owing chiefly to the continuous rain. I had one trip down the Clyde and a few car trips round the city and then decided to return to London where the Y.M.C.A. accommodation was ever so much better and things were more cheerful all round. I saw Neil at Hornchurch twice and once in London. He is looking fairly well and says he is picking up weight again. My birthday cake arrived at the hospital on the day that I left for London. I took it along with me in case Neil’s had not arrived, but found that he had got his and Vic’s too.

We had some royal feeds at Hornchurch and then started on mine when Neil came in on leave. Neil’s was a just a little bit mouldy in places but Vic’s and mine were absolutely perfect.

Neil is now, I understand, almost certain of his appointment to the teaching staff at Hornchurch so I suppose there will be no more France for him now. I am still down for return to N.Z. but I have not the slightest idea when I am likely to be sent. The war seems to be improving from our point of view and the news has been distinctly more cheerful during the past fortnight.

I got a letter from Mac today. He has been down with an attack of trench fever but has not so far managed to score a Blighty. He was at the time of writing (7/7/18) in a convalescent depot in France. Don’t build too much on my getting a board for N.Z. as it is quite possible that I shall at any time be put on a permanent base job instead of being sent home.

I went over the Tower of London again today and through Westminster Abbey. There is a tremendous lot of sight seeing to be done here and I could spend another month here quite easily if I had the leave and the money. My leave expires on Tuesday next and I have over eight pounds left so I will have a bit over when this leave is finished. My present intention is to run out and see Neil again to morrow and he is coming in here on Sunday so we will have two more days together. Tell Vic the London theatres are running as strong as ever. I am giving them all a turn and have been to the Alhambra, Vaudeville, Colliseum, Wyndhams, Palladium, and some of the biggest picture places. It is all very good on leave, but when that is over I hope they pack me back to N.Z. by the first and fastest boat running. I shan’t grumble if they send me off the first day that I report back to the hospital. I want to get back to the land where I can get three spoonfuls of sugar in my tea if I want it.

Thanking you very much for the birthday cake.

I remain
Yours forever