Gunner Bert Cox
England August 15, 1917
My Dear Leila,
The next letter I write to you will be addressed to "Mrs. Badley" I hope, and written from France too, as although we have been fooled several times, I think we are going this time. We had our final medical exam this morning and are being issued with everything we need over there. I do hope that Norman gets here within a few days or I'll miss him. I received letters from Mabel and Herbert of July 26th and both said he would be leaving in a few days ( NY ? )
I saw in the newspaper that a lot of mail going to Barbadoes was lost about early part of July and expect that the photo to you and also to Olive Austin was among them. Will you ask her if she received it? If neither arrived , I will leave your address with the photographers and have 2 more sent. I sold my bicycle yesterday for 30 shillings and glad to get rid of it at such a time for that much.
I don't think that I mentioned in my last letter that we were inspected by the King (George V) and Queen Mary about 2 weeks ago. He stood behind my gun for a few minutes talking to the Major, so I had a good look at him. We were also inspected yesterday by the Duke of Connaught and are going to be, tomorrow by General Dodds, the Commanding Officer of the Division of Artillery. These inspections mean an awful lot of work and shinning up.
I'm 'mess hog' today, so had time to get a bath before the exam and am going to write Jack as soon as I get through this. The dances around here are all closed down for a month, so there's not very much to do. "The Birth of a Nation" , is now being shown at the picture show in the camp. Will you tell Mamma this for me. There's only one favour I want to ask before I go to the front and that is, in case I am taken a prisoner, will she send me a box of eatables (cake, biscuits, anything) once per month; as they say the prisoners are starving and the only thing that keeps them alive are the parcels they receive.
We were out in the field for 4 days last week, and had a good time. I ate all my meals at farm houses, as we were moving all the time. Real good meals too, for 1 shilling - sixpence. Which would cost 3 shillings anywhere around camp.
Received letters from Poppy(?) and Mrs. Waith last week along with Mamma's and Ina's of July 1st and 8th. Thank them both very much. I have never received a letter from Mrs. Yarwood. I wrote her a long one a year ago last Xmas and never had any reply. I wrote Campbell a long one also, on my arrival here and never had a reply. I think he's ashamed of himself, but thank God conscription has passed in Canada.
Did you receive 1 pound from me in about May? I'm not sure whether you ever mentioned it. I sent Herbert a wire a few days ago , to send you $25.00 from my account. ( note: wedding gift to Leila). I must apologize for being such a cheep skate, but I think you will understand. The girl old Bill Ballee left behind is now married to some other fellow. Bill laughs heartily at it; thinks it's a big joke.
Well Leila , I must end now, and you have all my best wishes for a happy married life, dear girl, is the wish of your affectionate brother,