Ever so many thanks for your last letter. We are stll back from a rest but go up again on Tuesday worse luck. My dear yesterday I met old Dick, hooting an’ all. Apparently we have been quite near each other all the time, when we were up in the trenches. His lot has been ordered back suddenly. And the lot that took over from him were the 18 Middlesex, and they told him where I was, he motored over yesterday to see me.
He was looking fearfully well & in a very cheery mood. We had tea together; He’s pretty good at french, but his accent makes me laugh. We had some good laughs together. He went in to see my C.O. and asked him if he could take me as his groom. (Because an elder brother can claim a younger brother if he wants). The C.O. was awfully nice & told him to write to him putting in his claim and he would do all he could. So with any luck I may go with him, what fun eh. but mum’s the word. I wish I had met him up the line. I can’t think how I did not, because he was quite near me, sickening was’nt it. But it was fine meeting at all. He has grown a moustache, a very nutty one. He thinks it is better than mine. He hopes to come in again this morning. I hope he does.
We have had two air raids over here these last two nights, one night a Zeppelin came over, and did a lot of damage. I hope the oily paint arrives all right, because the coat neets it badly. Those papers you send daily have all got mixed up & now arrive in batches because they have been held up. So if you would stop sending them for a week, they might get it right. I was a whole week without any letters or papers not long ago. Then they all arrived together. Our T.O is on leave, and he is going into the shop to see Jane. I have written to her telling her so.
Well dear no more news.
best of love, yr loving brother.
We have very few of Topher’s letters surviving which is frustrating, especially since he seems to have had a much harder time than his more robust elder brothers. This one to his sister Etheldreda was presumably mis-filed which is why we still have it.