4 p.m. (11 June 1917)

In camp again – Chadderton. When I thought this was a brighter place than Birmingham I hadn’t seen the miles and miles of factories, their chimneys threatening the skies.  The camp is on the outskirts of working peoples’ quarters of a squalid description where we were cheeked by bold-faced factory girls.  All these thousands of girls and women go about with heavy shawls or blankets thrown over their heads and shoulders and wooden clogs that clatter on the cobble stones.  Have to hand in our gold and get notes.  Get 4 days leave and pass to London shortly.  Leave within 5 miles, every night not on duty.  Just in bed in broad daylight, although the clock says 9.15.  Am going to read over your letters again and then try to sleep for the first time for almost 40 hours.  A lovely afternoon and the chimneys don’t look so bad in the sun.  All the N.C.O.s lose one stripe – just to cheer them up.  There is something almost terrifying in the size of these towns.  Oldham close by has about 200,000 inhabitants and is only a sort of left wing to Manchester.  However we have a glimpse of a pretty little valley with an old church in it and I think a river or canal – will explore later.

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