My dear daddy,
Many thanks for your letter dated 13th. You seem in good form which is good news to me. The old adage that no news is good news seems pretty true as applied to the female side of the family, for jaunts to London which you tell me about seem evidence that all is well. I am glad you had a good time at Mr. Prestons.
The course is over & the students went away this morning. My own students invited me to dine with them last night & we had a very jolly evening together. I had to make two speeches but got through all right. I had to rise at the unusual hour of 4.30 a.m. this morning – Sunday morning too – I was detailed to march the officers to the station 3 miles away. It was a beautiful morning – a full moon till long after daylight. The dawn was wonderful & I have never seen such weird colouring. The moon turned green – an extraordinary effect.
Arrived at the station we were treated to a wonderful exhibition of French shunting. There are 3tracks like this illustration The main portion of the train was on C (main) track & there were 5 trucks on A track which had to go on the rear of the train. He took them one by one from A track & put them on to B & then repeated the process & got them eventually on to C. A more rag-time affair I have never seen. All this was done to the accompaniment of blowing whistles & excited shouting. I saw the shunter propping open one set of points with a brick-end!
However things weren’t so bad really as we got the train off just short of half-an-hour late. They have got a journey of 25 miles to do, but they are due in at 6 p.m. tonight!
I hope you managed to find Win all right. She would be delighted to see you. I had an amusing & interesting letter from her the other day.
There have just been two excitements in the farm yard. The pond is flooded, & an old hen in a desperate hurry to get to the other end of the yard tried a short cut by attempting to fly across. She “crashed” half-way & went down like a stone in the middle of the pond. Later a tame rabbit got loose & was immediately hunted by the dog. An exciting chase round the yard ensued – the dog after the rabbit & an infuriated madame (who must at least weigh 20 st) after the dog. Strange to say the dog didn’t win. Hoping all is well
With very best love to all
Your loving son
In cover to A.W. Allen Esq. Duffield Nr Derby. Postmarked Army Post Office S35 dated 23 Sp 18. Passed by Censor No 34** signed G. W. Allen.