December 1, 1918 – Letter to Robert from Aunt Aggie:
My Dear Robert
This is just a few lines to congratulate you. I was so pleased to hear that you had got the news of being a happy father. Your little son has come with victory. I trust God will [?] him to [?] [?] and be a comfort to both his mother and you. How you will long to see them. It was well worth coming to fight to get such a reward.
I may say I felt glad to get your letter yesterday. I had thought and wondered if perhaps you had taken part in the last battle. It’s good to know you did have a hit at the enemy, and yet safe and sound. How proud your Father and Mother, also your dear wife, must feel that you had the honour of hearing the glorious news on the field. Yes, I believe many other brave boys would have liked, had that been granted to them.
Undeniably we have America to thank for the splendid effort that was made. Her troops came across in time to save us. It was then that Germany saw that her game was lost, but, as you say, now all the world is glad. I hope you have some comfort in the little French towns. It must be sad to see such desolation and how awful the poor people have had to suffer. Truly we ought to [be] thankful.
I must tell you how pleased I was to get your little photo. I had been picturing you as a boy, and behold, you are a soldier and a man. We tried to think who you might be like but your cousin Jessie said she liked your face. It was good and that was everything.
I meant to have written to you when it came but somehow I have been busy. First we had a visit from your uncle George and his wife. His man had got a month’s leave and so let them off while he attended to the shop. Then your cousin James got off for 14 days, also a friend of his from South Africa, of course in the army, though. This was his first time in Scotland, we have had very damp and miserable weather lately. I am afraid he would not be very favorably impressed. However, he enjoyed his stay with us.
James only left yesterday to spend Sunday with Aunt Jessie at Leith, returning to England on Monday. I wish they might let him off now for good, but it seems it will take a time, but one thing – the fighting is over. It’s the poor prisoners that are returning now. What joy it must be for them, poor souls.
Now I am glad to say we are all in good health here and I keep looking forward to seeing you. Surely you won’t be kept very long. Write again soon. Remember us all to everyone at home. My kindest thoughts for your dear wife and little son at this time and fondest love for your ownself.
Always your loving Aunt Aggie
So grateful that my mother was able to transcribe this for me several years ago. She identified quite a few words that were a complete mystery to me. Now only a few unclear bits are left. The three words in the first paragraph are really bugging me, so please let me know if you can identify them.
*Update: Twitter user @McCookField suggests a very likely solution:
“I trust God will spare him to grow up and be a comfort to both his mother and you.”