Letter 19 - I am an awful rotter at putting things nicely & I am awfully sorry.

A note from the Editors:

Still recovering in hospital. Also interesting to note, in our modern lifestyles where so much is disposable, especially if broken, that Oliver's goggles that were smashed in his crash have been sent away to be repaired!

Franked 1 SP 17
Mrs Chas. E. Pearson,
Letter No. 12

70 Squadron RFC BEF France

Dear Mother
I have just had a letter from you dated 19.8.17 & as it’s the first I have had for a fortnight you bet I was pleased. I have also had the first instalment of papers which are very welcome indeed as I am very short of literature. I have just finished the Tale of Two Cities & am now reading Pickwick which I have often tried to read befor but never got beyond the first chapter. I am enjoying it immensely.

I don’t know how Jim would recognise a Camel as I more than suspect he has never seen one as there is only one aerodrome in England where there are any. What you saw was most probably a DH5 as there are some at Grantham. A Camel goes up just about half as fast again as a DH5 so you can guess it goes up some. That’s how we beat the Bosche. Poor old Vick’s engine cut out over Hunland & he just managed to get his machine behind our front line but of course crash landing badly; on account of shell holes etc; & is now in hospital somewhere I am not sure where but I will transmit your message in my next to him.

My dear Mother I am awfully sorry about the cigs. I am an awful rotter at putting things nicely & I am awfully sorry. Even Jim comments on it so it must have been awful bad. But what am I to do. It’s no good my letting you go on sending me cigs I don’t appreciate as much as others & which I can get free here as an issue so letting you waste money on them & postage & so I had to tell you. They issue cigs & pipe bacca to all troops here just so much a week, very little, & we pinch a lot if we want the,. All smokes here are quite 1/3rd cheaper than in England. I can get cigars here for 4d that in England are 7d or8d apiece & here they are most beautifully packed in leadfoil to boot!

I have had my teeth stopped by an excellent army dentist for nothing (Not the two missing ones of course worse luck) Tell Goodie I shall be delighted to have her helmet : it would be better to have it I am sure it would please her & it’s sure to be a good one & it would come in useful later when it gets colder. I had time to invest the £5 Grandpa gave me last thing befor I left England & bought a simply topping helmet face mask & pair of goggles which last were broken in my crash & are now in England being repaired.

You have settled the matter. I have thought about those field boots : take them back to Manfields & get the money for them (full price of course) if you can. They fit my feet but are too loose about the tops & ankles which of course could be remedied but what use are they to me after all after the war or even now?
If my cheque hasn’t arrived tell Cox’s to cancel cheque no “RFCX250183”
I am still at I.AD but that is I suppose on account of the awful weather during which there cannot possibly be any flying so of course no casualtys in No 70. I haven’t seen that beastly Major yet either. I am having my photo taken here if I can. I went to-day but they said the light was too bad so it was na poo.

I am feeling alright again now but at first I had an awful bout of headaches lasting all one day. Quite the worst I have ever had. It does annoy me so to have to eat even a pear with a knife & not be able to take a decent bite out of anything harder than a jelly. Thank you ever so much for the photo its just fine. When I get to my squadron I shall have a frame made to hold all the lot. I love that one of you & Dad though ever so much. Give my love to Dad & Ena & Bettey & Jim & much love to you from your loving Son

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