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World War One Letters Home - September 1916
Property matters at home and abroad, Romania joins the war, he is spending more of his own money ...
Sep 2 1916
My Dear Mother
Yrs of Aug 23rd & 25th & enclosures to hand. Evie seems happy. I hope they find a little flat in Rome. It ought to be much easier now, no foreigners there. I see they are taking over all German property in Italy, Villa Malta will go & old Bulow will have to find another home. Very glad they are taking all German property, they had minimum interests in Italy. You do not enclose Jose letter as you said. Yes I fancy the love is on his mind mostly, but I suppose she thought it a good chance to settle down poor girl, she had no home or pied a terre in particular & he is a good soul I fancy & probably she will manage him as she wants. Glad to read Trix’s letter. Souldern is a great resource & success. I thought D.W.D. [Dublin Whisky Distillery?] report would be out early in Aug, however you will no doubt see it when it comes & send it. No, I did not see the Field of July 29th, if you have it will you send it. So your reduction of rent is only to start from next year. How sad about the O’Brien girl, I hope she is better. Very bad on poor Xmas
Glass gone up & lovely weather & warm, had cloudy & showery weather, wet came in stores I fear, but may dry all right now. Last Sunday we came to this little village from 3 days in large town, we have fair billets among village people, I’ve been pretty lucky & got a clean room. Our cars are in the street, I hope we are not here in Winter, it would be awful then, no shelter for cars & no place to sit or do anything. We have got a decent room for our mess but sit in street or bedroom. They say we may be here 3 months. Won’t be too bad for next 2 months, after that I hope we shall get somewhere where we can house our cars. It is quite a cow & pig village, a nice wood near, large, & further back than village.
We were in & out of range of guns, or at least they do not bombard it, could if they wished of course, but a 4 mile thick forest between us and lines. Luckily very few troops here. It almost adjoins a larger village with 2 or 3 shops & we get papers regularly. Four cars are away 24 hrs. Rather a nuisance constantly being sent off for a day & night & all, adds to our expense.
This time I find it has cost me much more than last year for the same time, all sorts of little expenses, rather a nuisance. Being a volunteer is all very fine when you have lots of money, but when you haven’t it is not a great catch, however must rub along & wherever one was if it was peace it would cost. Being patriotic on a few hundred a year pay & being ditto almost at our own expense are two very different matters.
I wonder if Cassidy has been down to see you, I suppose she will remain on with Aunt M. Quite time you went to Coughton, Lilian will be delighted, make a good long stay. I suppose people are excited over Rumania coming in, useful no doubt, but I don’t suppose it will make much difference to duration of war if any. We all thought Italy’s coming in would do so, but after 15 months they have only just got to Gorizia a few miles inside Austrian territory & look like a full stop for a while now, & winter nearly on us again. I fear it is going to be a very long job yet. Will you ask the stores to post me a packet of Toilet paper, mine is giving out. One uses highways and hedges mostly in these places & it is handy to carry in ones pocket.
We do front line work here & have a good long sector to work. My “shover” goes home on 18 days leave on Monday, a very decent fellow & will be glad to have him back. We all get tired of this perpetual moving, but I trust all the same we will not be here for winter, not perhaps as cold as Vosges, but wet & damp & rather open. They are busy digging their potatoes.
Yr affect. Son