Letter 11 - Still badly need socks and pyjamas!

A note from the Editors:

An undated letter, but one we think was probably written on Sunday the 5th August.
The domed huts Oliver describes are the famous Nissen Huts http://www.nissens.co.uk/default.htm


(letter 2)
No1AD Officers Pool Mess
France
(Tues)

Dear Mother,
Just a little note as it’s Sunday to say that I haven’t been posted yet & don’t know when I shall be. Here we do no flying only loaf around waiting to be posted. We work all morning & afternoon on various jobs such as the construction of a tennis lawn on the side of a hill needing a lot of levelling & pumping water up to the main reservoir tank from the well at the bottom of the hill.

This is a very small camp just a few huts clustered together round a mess hut. They are very different huts to those in England only holding about 8 beds & are more like a barrel cut in halves no sides just a rounded dome of corrugated iron lined with wood. They have a door at the end & four windows also at the ends & all fall to pieces like a pack of cards if you undo a few bolts & are then ready to transport.


This is a lovely spot all wooded with chateaux or -eaus all around with funny gables & towers. The cottages are like the “Cuckoos Nest” old Fosters place or very little better. Dirt & filth are everywhere & the smells awful but we are not near any houses. Sunday here was a very gay day. All the French in their gay dresses walking about & the bells all round making you think of home. You can hear the guns very well when there is a bombardment on although we are 30 miles from the nearest point of the lines & a lot more from where there is a strafe going on. I have not yet been into the town near here yet & I don’t I shall either as I here very poor reports of it as a place of amusement.

I should very much like a fountain pen. Get me one of the ‘Blackbird’ type with a fairly broad nib. Also I badly want that washing* which should be sent on to you from from the C.F.S. If it doesn’t come write one letter to Sgt Collins c/o the Officers Mess at Tern hill & another to the Corpl in charge of the Officers Mess at the C.F.S. & request a reply from both. If it doesn’t act tell me. I have ordered all my letters to be sent to you that you may forward all those that concern me. The photographs of course keep.

Talking of photographs I am sorry you will have no studio ones of me because while I was at home & at Birmingham I had no clothes fit to wear & while at the C.F.S. had no opportunity but I do promise that I will have some done here when & as soon as it is possible for me. It should not be difficult. Keep all the letters from me that are intresting for they should make a fair record of my day here & events as well. My type of machine has done very well out here so far very few indeed being lost. One alone got away from six huns having brought 3 down there were 9 huns originally.
With best love to all from
Oliver

Pass my letters round I shall have no time to write to everyone individually.
*I am especially short of socks & pyjamas.

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