Norman – Mum: 13 Jun 1918

Ward 16
No 1 New Zealand General Hospital
Brockenhurst, Hants
June 13th 1918
Dear Mum,
It is a year ago today since we left Wellington. How fast the time has flown for somehow when one is shifting and travelling around all the time he does not notice the passing of the time. I certainly never imagined when we left that twelve months would elapse without either of us even seeing the front line. Our luck has been wonderful.

To mark the occasion I received 14 letters by today’s mail, – one from Neil; three old ones from Vic (one from Codford and two from Torquay) and the others were your old letters ranging from Dec 9th to Feb 8th. These are the letters which I had missed before so that now I can practically say that I have received all your letters right up to the last mail. Another tin of chocolates came along by yesterday’s mail and it was quite a surprise as I thought the tin you referred to in your last letter was the one I received about february. The ones that arrived yesterday were the little round flat ones and they have kept splendidly as more than one in the ward can testify.

Our VAD nurse, a dear little English girl, was quite enthusiastic over them but she would not take many as she told me that I would have no chance of getting chocolates like that over here and she would not rob me of them. The chocolate that we get over here is rather inclined to be bitter and soapy. There is only one danger at present and that is that I shall eat too many and make myself disgracefully sick.

I am improving in condition rapidly and my leave with Neil commencing to-morrow week is now almost certain. What a time we will have among the Scottus. Tell Mat that I got the photo of Douglas alright although it is a bit late in delivery. He looks a bit of a trick and I suppose he is too or he is no son of his mother. I have not seen Mac yet. I have no word from him for about three months, but there are a lot of Neil’s letters astray yet so it is possible that he has written and I have not got it. Tell Mat that I will write to her later on. The weather here continues to be fine and warm. Brockenhurst is a small village about twelve miles S.W. of Southampton. The woods (we don’t call it bush here. Far too common dontcherknow) are very pretty but the place is rather too quiet for most of the fellows. It is a lazy life here but just a bit monotonous. Many thanks for the chocolates, but remember what I said in my last letter and don’t go short on any account. I know that the cakes you send cost a great deal without the heavy postage. Will write again before very long.