31 July 1916 – Starts Physical Training; food & drink; Zeppelin raid

31 July 1916

Dear Parents

Just a line to let you know how I am getting on. We went into the Physical Training Instruction class yesterday and I can tell you that it was the warmest work I have ever done in my life.  I enjoyed it alright but my shirt was wet through.  However we have three to change on so I am alright.  You might send on my running pumps and a slab of your cake to eat at suppertime.  We don’t get any supper at all and as we have to parade at 6.30 and do drill you begin to feel peckish before breakfast at 8 O’clock.  I am eating like a bull and whatever it is, it all goes the same way home.  Drink.  I have drunk enough water to sink a ship since I came down.  We had a fine old scare last night Monday.  I had just turned into my hammock about 9.30 and was nice and snug when the guards rushed into the quarters shouting “Stand by your hammocks in full Dress.  Zeps are about.”  We dressed in full blue and stood waiting for the order to move but this did not come.  We were then ordered to get into hammocks in full dress & heavy boots and as soon as the bugle went were to be ready to clear out of sleeping quarters.  Things turned out for the better and we only had to sleep in our full kilt.  No Zeps came over here but we read from the morning papers that they were over the Thames Estuary.  So it was a wise precaution getting us ready to clear for if a Zep got over here a bomb any-where about would smash glass all over the palace which is practically all glass.  Just send the things I want as early as possible and write me on pretty often.  You can send me some cash as soon as my allotment comes through.  I am feeling very fit and we rise about 5.15 AM and are glad to turn in about 9-15 to 10 O’clock.  Give my best respects to all kind friends and don’t worry about me at all.

James

PS Auntie Emma said they might be coming to London for a week-end.  If they do let me know & I will get a pass for them to come into the Palace if possible.

James

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