GWL 9th February 1915

Well, here we are back again and to-morrow, thank Heaven, the “square heads”  permitting , we go further back still for six days.  It will be good.  I am sure I have received all your letters up to and including the one of Feb 6th.  This morning a huge mail arrived.  Boots, sweets & shortbread and two tins of baccy.  I will answer about them in detail later.  We had a very strenuous time this spell.  A good deal of rain and mud but feet better on the whole.  I have not had my clothes off for 12 days, but that is short compared with some.  The last two days were spent in a ruined farm house within sight of the German lines.  Rather a queer experience.  Bullets kept coming into the remains of the drawing room & shells flying around. though none hit the building.  Nobody is allowed to show his head out of the building & no fires, except charcoal ones inside, during the night.  A novel now and then would be lovely.  There is such a long time always with nothing to do but wait.  This is a weird game.You are never safe from observation and the slightest slip like a little smoke from a chimney or a match struck where it should not be, generally means “whiz bang” after about half an hour.  Our headquarters were shelled the other day and they all had to clear out pretty quickly.  But as the doctor – an Irishman – says “It is no good trying to dodge them, they are much too quick for you!”  Clarence Gardner got one or two chance ones near him the other day, when he was making a laudable effort to make some charcoal near where that bally pheasant eluded me.  I think I shall probably see Ion in the next day or two.  I had a letter from him the other day.  He had been over here to see his other battalion, but unfortunately we were in the trenches at the same time, so we missed each other.  Looting more mixed veg to-day.  Raining hard.  Thank goodness we are going the right way though.  Touch wood!  I think I should weep if those blighters started a fuss now or in the next eight days.  The last two nights up we were five hours late, because somebody had a rush of blood to the head on our left.  We have got such a lot of things to eat that it will take at least a week to get through the uncarriable  (good word) part of them.  Every time I go up, I take more home comforts – soon I shall sink under the load.  Bye bye for the present……….The recruiting pictures say “Remember Belgium”!! “Help!”

The last line probably says enough!

{next post 11th February}

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