Neil – Mother: 14 Dec 1918

Dear Mother,

No news much since writing last. I am getting 9 days leave at New Year. Christmas I shall spend in camp. New Year is some day in Scotland they say, so I’ll go there, that being of course only one reason among others. The mills of the army have continued their process of grinding slowly without grinding exceeding small. The promotion is still promised (probably first W.O. 10/6 per day possibly a pip but not performed, and the back pay though now authorized is from the wrong date which would make a difference of about £2, and so it is being hung up for correction.

I am expecting word from Trinity tomorrow. There was a College Council meeting the day before yesterday.

I have several unanswered letters – it is longer than usual since I wrote.

(I’d be patriotic and use both sides, but there is no blotting paper).

One from you written Alma’s birthday. You seem to have been a little bit surprised at my cable for more dough, but you wouldn’t be if you could see how marvellously it filters through your fingers in this country. The Xmas cake has not come to hand yet. “Poor Norman” as you call him isn’t likely to go short,- he’ll be home among the bottled peaches and white flour by Xmas time with any luck. I have not received Roy’s cake from the church. I got a pair of socks with a tin of sardines inside from them. Tell him to convey my thanks to them for me. I have lost the ticket that came with them so cannot write myself now. I got a tin of biscuits addressed to Trot yesterday. I had slept in, and had missed breakfast, so they died without lingering.

One from Dad written Mats birthday. He gets very humorous (for him!) in one part, but perhaps it would be safer not to comment on it.

Another from you 17-10-18. The made a great song in one of the labour papers here about the sedition man settling the Coalition man in the NZ bye-election. There is quite a lot of election excitement abroad just now. I can assure you that I am not at all likely to follow Percy Young’s example and provide you with either a grandchild or a daughter-in-law. [The reverse order would have looked better, but it is too late to alter it now.] It is an ominous fact that I should have left out the “not” (nine lines up) the first time I wrote the sentence. I forgot to mention that this letter from you contained a Xmas card. I ought to have a merry one this time. I am not going into Hospital on milk diet this Xmas if I can help it. I had a good time last week-end with Charlie at some people’s he knows at Finsbury Park, London.


[PS what are they calling it?]

P.S. I start a new page to ask you if you saw that N.Z. case of a man who went up two classes in the Second Division in one move, his wife having just provided him with triplets. The Chairman of the Appeal Board in granting the appeal said it was the first case of triplets he had had.

I have heard from Alec and from Mac, but I seem to have lost Mac’s letter.

Reynolds and Platt, fellow undergraduates at A.U.C. are staying this side and going to Oxford; but there is no one I know of going to Cambridge. It will be a bit hard staying here while the rest of the mob go home. But I should probably kick myself if I was offered the chance and turned it down. It is very difficult to know what to do.