Gunner Bert Cox
Envelope addressed to:
Mrs. Jack Badley
c/o Herbert and Coy
Barbadoes, British West Indies
July 1, 1918
My Dear Leila,
I can't remember whether this is a holiday in Barbdoes - Dominion Day. A year ago today we were fighting the big battle of "Petworth" ( the day, you remember, I went to Arundel Castle and Worthing).
Today it's a very different scene. I'm in a tent at the horse lines, with about 50 other fellows of the Battery, all laid up with the Spanish Fever. It's very much like influenza and seems to be going all through the troops. 50 % of the French and German armies are in the same state. It's all over England, too. Several schools were closed last week. Unfortunately, it only lasts a few days, so one can't make Blighty on it.
July 4th…this has been declared a holiday throughout France, in honour of America, so we'll probably get the 1/2 day. I'm Battery runner, today, and have just got back from a trip to the guns. Left here at 8:45 AM and was back at 10:45 am, on horseback, you know. It's very quiet, up the line, today. There was nothing dropping near the Battery.
I am feeling quite fit again, and most of the boys are getting better. I was talking to Bill Baillie, Hewit, Mc Callum and Alex Mc Kennan at the guns this morning. They told me that my old friend, Gladys Bellman is engaged or married. She knew all the 'Commerce' boys.
Thank Ina for her letter of May 31st, received on June 26th. About the fastest one yet. Also many thanks for Jack's and yours received when I was at the guns. I often hear one of the boys say "does your sister say anything more about the SOLDIERS, now?"
I wish I could lecture you for about an hour on modern warfare, as I know you don't quite understand much about it. What you think it is and what it really is, is as different as the North from the South. But I'll tell you about it some day and the pleasure will be all mine.
It must be very nice to have a piano in your home, some class, eh? I suppose 5 or 6 years from now, the kids will be tearing everything to pieces. Don't forget, boys are needed for the next war! So you don't think that there will be enough men left to fight by March 25th, 1921 ? There are enough men, on both sides, left to carry on this war for 20 years, killing them at the same rate that there've been killed at, today. Do you know that Germany has more men right now in uniform than Great Britain?
In answer to a question : Stand To = prepare for action. Very different from Stand Down = cease firing .
Did you mean to take shelter from the enemies shells? There is no such order, It's just a natural feeling!!
We are still having nice weather. Tell Jack I'll write him soon.
Lots of love for all at Ellerslie and selves from your affectionate brother,