9.15 a.m. Southampton Docks
Here we are at last. On getting back to Sawbridge last night I found we were due to move at 10.30 p.m. So packed in great haste. Left Harlow 12.55 and came here via Kentish Town, Acton, Richmond, Stains, Basingstoke etc. – managed to sleep most of the way – arrived 6.15 a.m. at present foggy and cannot cross so all sitting in large sheds on the docks. They are going to run us over I believe in small craft, and goodness only knows when we shall start. Please send me as soon as possible a couple of ordinary rough small hand towels. I just shaved and feeling quite fresh. No time for more – Give my love to all & to Dad best wishes for a speedy recovery.
I find I have some more time, so will continue. The men are all in very high spirits, albeit one or two were a trifle sad at leaving Sawbridgeworth. Personally I think it was high time to be going. Now it is really time to post this.
Have arrived – Rotten crossing, in fact ours was the only one of the five boats which were due to cross which had the pluck to continue its voyage beyond Portsmouth. The rest all went back. All very ill, worst of all the C.O. I was beautifully sick but not quite so bad as the Aberdeen touch. Find that my French will not carry me far here so am making acquaintance of our civilian interpreter, who is attached during our stay in the country. We are in tents here & it is very cold – but have all had fur coats issued and consequently can sniff at the cold. I don’t imagine we should be here long – probably only long enough to get the other ½ our btn up-which couldn’t sail. We came on a Clyde boat – very long and narrow and built for river work only. Fast but with an awful roll. The men are in high spirits. I am feeling very fit. Love to dad and hope he is really all right again. Love also to the rest.
All well – am writing – finished long journeys for the present.