GWL 29th January 1915

A perfectly heavenly day, sunny and cold.  We leave here to-day for our old trenches again.  Let’s hope they will be better than when we last saw them… About the groceries – Would you continue to order them & recover the amount from Mrs Burges?  Please let me know the first parcel that Mrs Burges pays for.  I don’t think Mc Mahon will be away long & then I shall go back to “C”, at least I hope so.  One’s own company is always the nicest.  Those creme de menthe sweets are excellent things.  They went very quickly indeed!  I have not smoked the Dunhill tobacco yet, as we got a ration which has carried me through so far.  I don’t contemplate smearing myself in whale oil with much joy.  How we shall smell!  People say that a zeppelin was brought down near here yesterday; but I don’t know if it is true or not…… We had a bust the other night and bought 5 bottles of very ordinary vin at 2 francs a bottle!  Quite merry for a bit until the pains set in.  Corrected same with bullseyes. “

“Cheap” wine joins baccy and sweets in giving a modicum of pleasure in the midst of dreariness.  Whale oil was introduced as a defence against Trench Foot, along with frequent changes of socks to try and keep feet dry.  A Battalion could use up to 10 gallons a day.  Whale oil was also an essential ingredient in munitions as well as day to day items such as soap.  It is thought that up to 80,000 whales gave their lives for the war effort.

{next post 30th January}

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