During the war, while stationed in Wiltshire and later in Yorkshire, Vaughan was unable to paint large-scale subjects or make oil paintings. His work of this period was largely confined to sketchbooks and small-scale works on paper. By day he recorded the labouring activities of his army comrades and in the evenings, he captured their moments of quiet leisure. Here a young soldier, possibly Bill Greest, with whom the artist had fallen in love, is lost in the private activity of writing a letter home. Vaughan wrote in his journal on 28 August 1941: 'Bill was sitting in his shirt sleeves at the table writing. The lantern in front of him lit his face and arms and a strip of his shoulder with a deep bronze radiance. Other figures sat around in the shadows' (A. Ross, Keith Vaughan: Journal and Drawings 1939-1965, London, 1966, pp. 46-47). This evocative sepia drawing encapsulates the intimate atmosphere of the soldier's mess as well and the young soldier's intense concentration.