Dec. 24th 16
My Dear Mother,
Contrary to the p.c. I have written & posted tonight I am writing tonight while it is quiet before the men start coming aboard in a half canned condition & kicking up an awful row. I don’t suppose I shall finish it but there is no harm in making a start. I was hoping to be able to write both before going for the mails but it didn’t come off.
Blanche told me in her letter she had been to meet Maggie last Thursday dinner time but as she had not told her mother she had perforce to go home after seeing Maggie for her mother would keep the dinner waiting. She told me of the arrangement for Monday night, which is tonight. She asked me to tell her what I should like her to send for my birthday & as I can think of nothing better or at least anything I want specially, I asked her to send me a pocket knife. I know she doesn’t like me to smoke so I wouldn’t ask for cigs. & besides I can get them for 1/0 for 50 in stead of 1/8. It is rather early to think of the 26th of Jan. /17 but I can’t say anything for I was quite as previous with mine. I suppose if you use your blinkers you will see the bag I sent her when you are see her tonight for she carries it always.
I went to church last night with another signalman off the “Ludlow”. He goes to the Congregationalist Church & as he has never been to a C of E & I have been to a Cong we elected to go there. I was a little lost but I liked it very much. It seems years since I went to church about 6 months. I haven’t been since I left Chatham.
I had a letter from Fred & Clarie & Blanche last night & one from you this morning & you all had something to say about the Zepps. Last Monday night I reckon you would be a little surprised to hear my version of it. Eh! What Arthur lad. I didn’t know anything about the aeroplane brought down in the daytime over London. Blanche told me. Of course if we don’t get the news by Wireless at sea we see nothing of what’s gone off from the papers when we come in & as the W.T. operator has to stay up till midnight to take the news he gives it a miss sometimes.
About the cakes & things. You may send me a few mince pies, a cake & a bit of pudding if it doesn’t cost you too much. I don’t want you to go without sugar & things because of me. I’m not hard up for grub you know. I think if I send Auntie Kate my address I don’t know of anything I want specially so I’ll ask her to send me money as they’ve stopped me for the overcoat & I got 10/-. Well I will close with love & Kisses to all.
Your loving son
P.S. enclosed card for Phyllis & a card Stanley sent to me. Please take care of it.
In cover addressed to Mrs. W.T. Plant, 176 Pomona St., Eccleshall Rd., Sheffield. Postmarked Lowestoft 8.15 PM. 5 Dec 16. Enclosed a card “Birthday Wishes from Herbert To Phyllis showing photo of young lass with a cat.