The Letters of Arthur Martin-Leake December 1917

Read by Nicholas Blatchley

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My dear Mammy

The plum pudding arrived today, also some chocolate. Many thanks; we shall have a great Xmas now as a Buzzard always assures it. I wish you a very happy Xmas & hope the rationing won’t be too severe for the occasion. It is perhaps well that the family has reached an age when it doesn’t get great joy & happiness from an over distended condition of the stomach & this condition is not essential for getting through Xmas day.

We are having real winter weather just now – snow & very cold winds. Tonight it is freezing hard, but looks as if there is more snow to come.

Lloyd George’s speech was great & was just the thing that was wanted. There appears to have been a good deal of grousing going on, probably excited by Landsdown’s {sic} letter*. No outsider is in the position to know the real state of affairs & things just at present may look not very satisfactory, so it was quite time that L.G. should tell the country that all is well. It seems only reasonable to suppose that the Boche will make a great effort before the Yank gets into full swing, & try is best to finish the show. All we have got to do is to stick on at all costs…

My kittens are in great form but have not been trained in strict army methods. They won’t leave the dugout for any purposes & consequently the air is not as good as it might be. They are always very happy & seem to have no wish to see any more of the world or mistrust it very much.

You must have enjoyed having Willie for a bit, & I expect he was very pleased to get the change.

I may get home for a bit in Jan. & am looking forward to it.

You should not worry because you sleep through the air-raids. It is the very best thing you can do. I make a point of doing it & nothing short of a bomb on top will fetch me out. The Halifax show was certainly fearful; these things seem to be inevitable when there is so much explosive about the world.

Best love & take all care of yourself.

Y[ou]r affect[iona]te son
A.M. Leake


* An open letter published on 29th November 1917 from Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice, 5th Marquess of Landsdowne, calling on the government to begin peace negotiations with Germany.

This page was added on 03/01/2018.

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