France, Dec. 25th, 1916
I guess you are in the midst of harvest and heat and dust and I hope a good time too.
I was looking amongst your letters and noticed Nona’s letters, kisses etc. I am trying to picture how big she would be and imagine she is going on six years. She was a wee kiddie when I last saw her. All my little brothers and sisters will be big ones when I see them again sometime next year – and next year will come and my little sister, best girl will be a woman.
We had a sing-song for Christmas and I had to drink the toast of those at home and among other things I pictured my little sisters with music in the air and felt it would be great to be among it all again. But we had a good Christmas.
I’ve been at military school for three weeks and our lecture hall was made into a dinner hall and we had plenty of good things and a really good time. We had it yesterday because we were not sure we would be here today. We go back to our regiments tomorrow. There are about 100 of us here from many regiments – Australians. We have had plenty of work and tons of lectures and tons of good time mixed up with it. As it is midwinter I feel pretty lucky to be in dry quarters for nearly a month of the worst of the year. It has frosted, snowed a few times and rained many times since we came.
It’s wet today and tonight, so if my luck holds as it usually does I might not have to put up with very bad conditions, but it is mud everywhere when the ground isn’t frozen solid and it is not really good for the semi open air life we are living.
There is much peace talk in the papers we get each day but I feel it will take next summer to get a peace that is any good to us.
We had another Christmas dinner with good English pudding. It’s good food anywhere but more so in the cold. Of course I would enjoy it more in sunny Australia.
Your affectionate brother, Stid.