Norman – Mother: 10 Jan 1917 (1918)

Somewhere in France
January 10th 1917 (should be 1918)
Dear Mother,
I found my friend John MacPherson last Saturday. I had almost given up hope of running across him when I happened to find a chap who knew where he was. He was only a mile or two away so I walked up and jumped in on him. He was surprised to see me and I spent the afternoon talking over old times in N.Z. I have no word from Neil yet nor any letters from anywhere else so I suppose the postal authorities have not yet taken a tumble to my new address. It is over a month since your last letters arrived and some more ought to be coming to hand any day now. The last cake you mentioned (the 3rd one) has not yet come over and I was beginning to think that the rumour we heard about a shipload of mail being sunk was true, but Vic has got his alright so I suppose ours will turn up soon. The winter here is proving milder than the last experienced, but it is quite cold enough, and snow falls every day or so. I don’t think I shall ever say anything against our N.Z. climate when I get back. I have been put on water cart duty (purifying and conveying water for the use of troops) for three months. The duties are not over strenuous and I have been keeping fairly fit so far.

We are hoping that the day of our return is not now very far distant and that we will be home to enjoy the next N.Z. summer.

There is nothing of any importance to write about this time so you must not mind the letter being short and keep on writing from your end

Kind regards to all


Jan 16th

I met Norman Matheson a little over a week ago but as I saw him for only a few minutes I did not have a chance of speaking to him for long. Since then I ran across Alec Young and he seems fairly well after his long spell over here. It was from him that I heard for the first about Cice Matheson. No letter has come from Neil yet but I hear that he has been discharged from the hospital and he is back in camp at the base. The day before yesterday I found Charlie green who was with me at may’s for a long time. He is fairly fit but has a rather bad cold and sore throat just now. There is one consolation about being over here and that is that money is much more easy to save than in England. I have already missed two pay days and I don’t think I shall need to collect any of the third that is nearly due.

By the time my leave comes round I ought to have a fair amount in hand. There is an N.Z. mail in and several of our boys have got theirs but mine has not been handed out yet. I expect it tomorrow.