Monday, October 10, 2016

Belton Park, Grantham, 2nd May 1917

My Dear Bob,
Just a line to let you know that I am over in England. I was sent over here on the 20th April with about a hundred others to sit for commissions. The twelve Machine Gunners were granted this right away, the others had to go to an Officers Training Corps. So that now you find me a 2nd lieutenant in the N.Z.M.G.B. Sent down to Grantham, the M.G. Base for the British Army, to train and be trained in the art of training others.
While in London buying an outfit I found it necessary to draw on you through Messrs Bruce & Lion for another £20. The £25 that the military people allow one is only enough to buy about half of the kit that is required.
I was sorry to learn that you had had a fire and trust you have not been overworked on account of it.
The submarines seem to be sinking a lot of shipping and amongst the others must be getting some mail boats. At any rate we have not had a N.Z. mail for some time now.
We do not know how long we will be left here in Grantham, but hope to be away from France for another six or eight weeks yet. By which time no doubt the present offensive will be reaching its climax. This is a very pretty place, hilly with a good bit of timber scattered about in the form of small woods. The N.Z. Depot along with a good many others is in Belton Park, the property of Lord Brownlow, a place of about six square miles very prettily laid out. The weather for the past fortnight has been perfect and by its warmth is doing a great deal to make up for the lateness of the spring.
Just a fortnight ago we were marching back from Neuve Eglise in Belgium to St. Omer where our Brigade was to have ten days training before marching back to the line and going over the top. I left them the night after they arrived at St. Omer, took the train to Boulogne stopped the night there crossed by boat to Folkstone and arrived in London by train the same afternoon. It snowed most of the way on our march back from the trenches, it took us three days, so that we appreciate the change in the weather over here.
Well Bob I hope this finds you in good health.
Best regards to all
Yours Sincerely,

*New Zealand Machine Gun Battalion

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