Can Red Cross Hospital
July 23 1916
How is the world in general. I have been very anxious to know if VV got along all right with her exams I sincerely hope she did. Things here are very much the same I was at one of their English Dances last night and for the first time in my life I got up in a square dance and I created a lot of fun for the onlookers. Gee it’s the most foolish dance I ever heard tell of hugging and jumping around like a bunch of Jack Rabbits.
There’s a big parade here this afternoon I guess we will be inspected by some General - or General Nuisance, both the same thing. Some official comes around about once a week and nobody is allowed out of the building till he has gone.
I was very much surprised to hear that Albert was rejected on that Battalion as they don’t have to so very much mostly all fatigue duty and a person don’t exert themselves on those kind of jobs.
Do you know I would like to be in France for this great move, Gee we are giving them just what the troops have been praying for this last 18 months. When I was there is was always our fellows that were getting the worst of it and I sure like to see those square heads on the go, I suppose we will have some unsuccessful attacks but the line in general will be greatly changed.
The wounded that came in to London from this great drive were met at the Station by about 100,000 women or more and literally covered with flowers, I wouldn’t like to write on paper what went through the tommies minds but a fellow who is half dead and hasn’t had a square meal for a couple of months or so, doesn’t feel just inclined to appreciate an instants of that kind. England is mad over the troops progress and think it is the end of the war but you believe me it is just the turning point, and there will be more slaughter this month and the months following than there has been in six times the length of time in any stage of this war.
There are thousands upon thousands of wounded coming across every day and Battalion after Battalion going over every day. If we can hold out in shells there will be some fun.
Well mother I have got to get all polished up for this parade so remember me to Dad and VV and ans soon
Fighting In Delville Wood, The Somme, 1916
Ed. H.W. Wilson - Official British Military drawing. First published in "The Great War" Ed. H.W. Wilson, 1917 Military Artist drawing of the Battle of Delville Wood, The Somme. July 1916