Y.M.C.A headed notepaper
Pte. A.A. Smith
Reply to “C” Company 12th Bat. Essex Regt
Stationed at Dovercourt
May 16 1916
I was very pleased to receive your letter. I hope you enjoyed yourself at Thames Ditton. How are they all down there?
We are getting more settled down to camp life now, but you can imagine what it was like at first; last Saturday was very bad it was more like being on the mud at Southend & the boards & blankets were wet; but I did not get a cold I suppose one gets hardened to it. You ought to see me on guard with fixed bayonet I look a very dangerous scaracter then; had 24 hours of it last week it was alright until about 1.15 on Saturday morning it started to pour then.
Have not been able to get a pass yet but still I can only keep on trying that is about the only thing to do. There are plenty that have been here 12 weeks & not got home yet it is jolly rough.
Albert sent me a form to fill up to try & get on the Dental staff. I have to go & see the Captain tomorrow morning. I don’t know at all whether it will come off.
It is not convenient now for getting to the Y.M. to write letters & we have about 30 min walk from the camp.
You might let me know if I should write about the income tax & if you can let me know the numbers & any other particulars that might be useful in writing; also the surveyors address; if you do not know, it does not matter as I have an envelope at Southend. Albert can forward it on to me.
Do not send a parcel this time Father although I should be pleased to receive one, but next time I write I shall be able to let you know whether I am staying on here.
I had a letter from Ciss on Saturday she said some of the Essex are going to Aldershot; there are a lot of rumours that we are not here for long but if the other fails I shall have a try to get there.
How are Darvills, & Miss Dimond. Remember me to them.
I hope you are well also Jess & Ethel. With much love to you all.
P.S. Recruits still keep on coming in some of them do not look very happy you can bet they feel it a bit after coming out of comfortable homes. It is a rare job shaving I manage without a glass we are up at 5 A.M. & have to be all ready for parade by 6.15. how would that suit you? It’s a bit of a job with 15 of us dodging about in a small tent.