GWL 1st February 1915

In den Melkerie” We have had a joyful surprise.  We are back again after         only one day in.  True that was a pretty lively one, but nothing happened important.  “Artillery duels” as the papers say.  What they forget to mention is the fact that the poor infantry get far more shells than the artillery.  So I am a full blown double Company Commander.  I had a good “dug out” and a telephone in my trench, but one of my subalterns, an old man of 40 (!) had to evacuate his trench.  Luckily he did not lose any men.  Do you remember a man called Price, who was our gardener in Malta?  The poor chap was shot through the heart yesterday.  Have you seen about poor Leslie?  His girl threw him over just before he came out.  It is bright moonlight now all night, which makes relieving rather a job, but we have had good luck so far.  The mail has not come in yet, but it may come this evening and if it does I will write again.  There is no news – I have rather more work than before that is all.  You would have laughed to see your husband looting Brussels sprouts & turnips from a deserted garden this morning.  They were jolly good.  I nearly got an old pheasant too with my staff: He was squatting on a fence.”

“In den Melkerie” literally means in the Creamery, so the assumption is “the cat got the cream” at only having to spend one day at the Front.  Despite this it was clearly not without incident but made to sound      routine.  The main action at this time was occurring further south in the regions of La Bassee and Cuinchy.

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