Neil – Dad: 13 Dec 1917

Dear Dad,
I got your letter dated 7-10-17 and your enclosure in Gorries dated 30-7-17 yesterday.  Your letter was the first intimation  I had that Airey had died of wounds.  Survival of the fittest again!  Kill all the xxxx scholars and let the C2 men bring up the next generation.  Good old war!  Rumour and the Daily Mail suggest that Fritz on the Western front is going to make this the bloodiest Xmas the world has ever seen, – and it saw a fairly juicy  one in this country 120 odd years ago.  They think Germany is going to have a final smack before America gets really in.  If so we’ll just get up the line in time to see things shift.

Thanks for fixing up that certificate matter.  You’d told the Dept you’d “stored it among my effects —-“.  You quite gave me the creeps.  “Effects” comes from Latin “efficere” – to finish, and means, I take it, the goods of someone who has been finished.  I intend to die at a ripe old age in which case  (to return your compliment) it seems improbable that you will ever see my effects.  There is nothing interesting in the way of news that we are permitted to tell.