Neil – Mother: 30 Sep 1917

N.Z. Medical Reserve Depot
Dear Mother,
I posted a letter to Dad yesterday.  Since then Norman & I have been warned for overseas (P.S. ‘Overseas’ probably means France but by no means necessarily so.  There are other places when the winter would not be so severe for N.Zers.)  We are with the 26ths and it is almost probable that we shall be left here.  We are emergencies  who may go or may not.  We have seen a good bit of Blighty, during our stay here – all the villages around Sling, a few of the places round here and Aldershot last night.  It is some city.  Trot didn’t think much of it, but he never seems to get enthusiastic over anything.  He didn’t go much on the air raid we were in.  The biggest thing he had seen go off before was a penny cracker, but he thought 3 cwt of high explosive going up merely a trifle.  An air raid in London now would be a far more interesting sight than the one we saw.  In order to keep the aeroplanes from bombing vulnerable points they establish a horizontal barrage two miles up so as to keep them out of good bombing range.  That means that while a raid is on there is a sort of mat of bursting shells spread over London two miles high.  The papers say the row is so terrific that you can’t hear bombs bursting unless you are so close that you run a fair chance of never being able to hear another.  Raids (which now occur every moonlight night) seem to be about the only thing worth writing about.

We are going for a row on a pretty bush bordered canal here this afternoon.  Its alight – we wont get drowned, 4 feet is about its deepest.  It is about 40 miles long.  We can hire a canoe, cushions etc, for 1/- first hour and  6d an hour after.

We have not seen or heard from Vic for a fortnight.  He is up among  the lassies and the bonny Leezie Lindssays of the Heelans now.  I do not think we are allowed to cable when we go over