From the beginning of 1917, letters from John Gutteridge rarely appear in the paper.
Whether this was because there were more pressing matters report such as problems on the Home Front, as food prices and availability became more difficult and there was a growing number of regulations regarding food production and distribution (although rationing was not introduced, though frequently threatened, until 1918) and there was a lack of space. Or whether John Gutteridge was just not having the time or inclination to write, we shall never know.
In 1917, there was the bloody battle of Passchendaele and at the beginning of 1918, the British were hard pressed as the Germans made their push to win, followed by the British Push that led to the Armistice.
As I was going through the papers I missed his cheery letters. I came to think of him as a ‘friend.’