Neil – Mother: 22 Jan 1919

Dear Mother,
Have received letters up to 28-11-18. Very long letter from you 28-11-18. You give three pages about the ‘flu, and then mention the new niece. The ‘flu must have been serious to make you leave mentioning the niece till so late in the letter. If the poor little thing is, as Daphne says, like me, you can convey to Daphne my sincere sympathies. If it is, as you think, like Ben, I am afraid sympathy is useless. I received the chocolates alright;- they didn’t give us the ‘flu. We’d have risked it even if someone with the plague had packed them.

I have been up to Cambridge seeing about my chances there, but they are not at all rosey. All they can offer is £40 a year in dough and £35 a year more in kind. So if I don’t get an NZEF scholarship [and I have Buckley’s chance of one] Cambridge will be a washout.

I am definitely to get 19/6 a day, with rank of 1st Class Warrant Officer from Jan. 8th. It isn’t paid yet, but it will be. I ought to be able to enjoy my leaves and save money too now. My allotment remains the same, but some of the pay [like the 6d a day for Sgt.] may be deferred.

I was boarded yesterday. I thought my heart was just about all right again now, but I was marked among other things “tachycardia, apex beat muffled”, so I have come to the conclusion I am crook again. However I daresay I’ll see another peach season out. It will mean a pension perhaps if I return direct, but I’d prefer the Quarter Master’s Stores to issue me a new heart.

By the way, I also received a much overdue letter from you 27-10-18, giving particulars of my balance. I suppose you’ll wonder why I asked again in my letter of a fortnight ago.