Norman – Mum: 26 Aug 1917

Sling Camp
26th Aug 1917
Dear Mum,
we are getting leave to go up to London in a day or two and we are going to have four days seeing the sights of that little village.  Sling camp has improved on acquaintance and now that the first rush  of getting our final equipment and getting rid of the useless stuff issued in N.Z. , is over, we are not having such a bad time of it.  The Y.M.C.A. shelters and canteens are wonderfully comfortable and seem to provide everything a fellow needs and sell things at a price much lower than I ever expected.  On a cold night it is “some” good to drop in and get a big lump of cake (2 pence) and a cup of tea (2 pence) or a steaming cup of bovril (2 pence).  The latter is my favorite.  We are looking forward to seeing Vic when we go up to little Lon.  and as he takes a walk into London occasionally he ought to be able to knock around with us in the time he is out of his hospital.  I am sending a couple of souvenirs (one for you and one for Mat (Norman’s older sister)).  I may get them away this mail or it may be next.  Have you got that photo yet (the big group) I dont know the name of the photographer as we all called him “Harry” and never heard his surname.  I dont suppose there is much chance of getting it if it has not allready arrived, but I gave your name and address and paid the money alright.  He is the camp photographer so if you see anyone from the camp you might get hold of his surname and write him about it.  We have heard nothing definite about the time of our departure for the front.  It may be next week or it may be several weeks ahead.  The war news seems a little better this week, but it is hard to form any idea of when the end is coming.  I sent you last letter and Gorrie’s to Vic at the hospital as they were later letters than he had.  I suppose his are delayed owing to his being separated from his company and having been shifted about so much.  Neil and I are in the same hut still which in his usual way he says  is very fortunate for me.  I think we shall manage to stick together alright and I will keep and older brothers eye on that erring youth.  I did not get that letter card before sailing.  I received it last week here.

England is a terrible place for rain.  It seems to be always raining here.  The spots you see on the former page are caused by the rain coming in through a side window which I was too lazy to close.  I suppose Mac will be about on final leave by the time you receive this.  Tell Mat not to worry as we will finish the war before he comes over.   I got John MacPhirson’s letter alright and I had heard he had been slightly wounded, but I have had no direct letter yet although I have written.  I suppose that I shall see him soon.  There is no more news this week so will write again next.

Au Revoir till after Lon.