Sheriff began a brief letter to his mother:
‘As we shall probably be going up into the line today I am taking the opportunity of writing a short line in case I do not have an opportunity for a day or so. We have had several days here now so had to expect to move and although we have no definite orders they will come through soon, I expect – I cannot tell at all what we are in for and simply trust and pray that I shall be lucky and come through safely – for as you say – some have got to come through safely and I hope I shall one among them.’
He went on to tell her that he had received the ring she had sent – it was ‘very nice indeed’, and he told her that he looked upon it as a gift from her, even although she was not paying for it. He did not feel he could wear two rings, so he would continue to wear the old one in the line, ‘because it has been through everything with me up till now’.
He had to keep the letters short, because he had to pack his gear, but he promised that he would write to her from the line whenever possible, but told her not to be surprised if she did not hear form hi for a while.
[Next letter: 31 July]