[Received November 19, 1917]

Nov. 2, 1917, 9:20 P.M.

Dear Mother:

Well at last we are just about moving out of Oxford. The train is said to be going to take us away at 9 A.M. tomorrow. This morning we spent a lot of time standing in formation waiting for and receiving little announcements about what we had to do. We got a few hours to go out and bought a bunch of equipment, such as folding cots, bath tubs, mattresses, blanket rolls etc. I had a few things and got some more so now am ready for a winter in a dugout. I wish I had my old standby comforter. It would make a mattress and warm covering. I have also had a fur lined rain coat cloth union flying suit issued to me. If I ever get real cold at night I can use it for pajamas. I only got the union suit and goggles and am glad of it because it means less junk to carry around with me and I think the English leather coat and fur lined hip boots are a bit classier than our outfit. I expect to have the English outfit issued to me when I start flying.

This afternoon I hired a bike and went on a short sight seeing trip. First to New College. Walked around in the lovely cloisters, visited the chapel, gardens, old city wall (134?). That stained glass window designed by Sir Joshua Reynolds of the Nativity and Faith, Hope and Charity, etc. is there. I must admit I was a bit disappointed by it. Then I went to the Clarendon Press. I had read a bit about it when I was in the States and thought I was going to see some very wonderful doings. They don’t allow any one to go thru on account of the war work they do and I had a hard time to get into the bindery. It seems that all that beautiful hand work and gilt decorated binding was done in London, but all the real classic work has been stopped on account of the war, and most of the skilled artists have been lost. I had a chat with the foreman of the monotype department, but could not see any of the work.

Then I went to Miss Wright’s to say farewell. She was napping, but I saw Mrs. Wright and thanked her for her hospitality. Then I returned here to Exeter at 4 o’clock and we all got paid. The rest of the afternoon and evening has been spent packing up. My junk is down in the court yard waiting for the lurry in the morning.

Here is hoping they give us a lot of good moving target machine gun practice at Grantham.



lurry” is an archaic spelling of “lorry,” which came to be the British term for “truck.”