20th June 1916

At Chatham. Left Plymouth 8-23 p.m. Mother, Jude and you kept up bravely, but I was not deceived as to how you were really feeling. You looked sad in the last few minutes, poor old girlie.

Exchanged notes. Thought of you many times on way up especially when it got dark and I couldn’t watch the scenery. At 2-30 a.m. when train leaving Reading, all other occupants of my compartment asleep, took out your note and read it. It was a cheering little affair and splendidly written, and I derived much comfort from the outspoken talk of your heart.

Arrived Paddington 3-50 a.m. rather cold and streets very quiet. Got a taxi ride to Victoria. Went into Soldiers and Sailors Buffet there, open all night and food and hot tea, coffee or cocoa, served by ladies (some of them with titles). No charge is made, but a collection box is placed there to assist in running the buffet. It is a splendid innovation and well patronised. The cup of tea was most acceptable after the journey from Plymouth. Belgian and British soldiers also West Indian Regiment on station. Caught train to Chatham 5-4 a.m. Arrived Chatham 6-40 a.m. very tired and in low spirits.

Got on board by 7-10 a.m. Sick Bay still in the hands of the painters and not very cheerful looking. Spirits drop to zero. Exchanged compliments with other fellows, also latest news. Had a wash and some “brekker”, felt much better then. Did not feel much like working during the forenoon. This afternoon wrote to Mother, with a struggle for I was tired. Leave given so other fellows gone ashore, now all alone.

George Bond came over 5 p.m. but couldn’t stay longer than 5-30 p.m. He is going home for week-end. Told him all about holidays. Received a letter from Net. Wrote to you.

What a rotten day.

10-30 p.m. Feeling “done up”, going to bed. God bless you.

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