21 March 1917
Dear Mother & Father
I am sending parcel of dirty underclothing which I want you to wash and return as soon as possible. I should have washed them myself but the facilities on board this tub are very bad so I thought that sending them home would be the best way out. I have also been expecting being drafted away anytime and did not want to have any damp clothes on my hands. Things are pretty much the same here but I shall never be satisfied until I am settled down again. I have heard nothing more of my request for transfer to the RNAS save that it was forwarded to barracks. Things seem to be livening up a little all round & I think that time will see us smash the Germans once & for all.
I hope that Dad is alright again. Hoping that all are well. Best Love to all
It’s a bit hard to see why James thought things were “livening up” in the war. There had not been any recent major offensive that might indicate that Germany was weakening. However, by March 1917 America was drifting towards joining the war, the revolution in Russia was underway and the Germans were withdrawing from the Somme to the Hindenburg Line.