My dear old Elsie
Just a few lines on Xmas Day to let you know I am thinking of you and wishing all the time I was home in dear old England
I have had a curious Xmas – better by far than last year when I was up to my knees in mud & rain and had no dinner because the fire wouldnt burn! This year I have spent most of the day in my office for I am frightfully busy with all the demobilization papers – Already we have sent home 9 officers and about 60 men – these are miners police & students etc. Goodness knows when it will be my turn to go! My thanks dear girl for your most welcome Xmas letters & for the beautiful pipe & nail brush – It is kind of you old thing and I wish I was near a shop of some kind to buy you something. I am sorry to hear of the death of your girl pal – everyone seems to have some sort of trouble to bear. I do hope Mrs. Brown is quite better now and that you are all having a very happy time. We are still at Kantara and I fancy we shall be here until the end for it is quite near Port Said from which port most of the ships are sailing I am afraid I shall not be able to write one [a letter] I seem to get no time to myself these busy days – All day long I am arranging to send officers and men home & dont get much chance of working out my own salvation – I havent a notion as to what I shall do after the war but feel something or other will turn up – the Colonel says I must stay on in the Army but I dont know! If I were 10 years younger I should like nothing better
Best love dear girl & many loving thoughts
Please address my letters as Captain – sometimes Im a Major (acting) but more often a Captain!!
My dear old Elsie
We are on the move again and this time thank goodness we are going the right way – a step nearer home and demobilization. Our destination at present is Kantara which is on the banks of the Suez Canal – very likely we shall move nearer Cairo or Alexandria later on and so to night we are busy packing up and there is great excitement for we entrain at daybreak tomorrow! At last there are signs of winter here – the nights are cold and rain is coming – we shall escape at Kantara all the unpleasant wet & mud of Palestine This beastly flu is attacking unfortunately several of our men have died – isnt it hard luck to peg out now the fighting is over I am looking forward so much to your next letters – Your last was Oct 30th so the post hasnt improved much has it – I do wish it would a fortnight ought to be quite long enough to wait for letters now! The Colonel has gone to Cairo again on leave – he wanted to miss this move and I dont blame him – he says hes going to take things easily now. Demobilizing is going to be a bit busy – my days are full now with grouping and codeing all our men – 900 of ‘em I often wonder what I shall do after its all over – if I were 10 years younger I would love to stay in the Army but Im very old now1 – and feel it too sometimes. Im sure I could never settle down in Taunton again so suppose I shall make a fresh start at something in London or some big centre – I fancy there should be some good openings in the commercial world when the country settles down – if you hear of a good billet going nurse it for me dear girl – will you? I cannot stay to write more now.