GWL 19th February 1915

I have not been able to write for four days.  We had our rest cut short by one day as Fritz began making himself a nuisance.  We spent a very wet and muddy night in some sheds near here and then the following night moved up nearer.  We have just come back from the trenches.  They are in rather a bad state in every way. I had your letter of the 13th to-day.  The Headquarters Mess has received your cake and thanks you awfully for it.  Vicary is going to write to you and thank you.  The D Coy one has not come yet.  Please tell Uncle Frank that another parcel of baccy has arrived, but with this rush we have not been able to distribute it yet.  Rain with bright intervals is what the lady in the Daily Graphic would say about the weather.  What we want is a nice drying wind.  I got rather a fright last night as my watch stopped!  Happily it went on again after about 10 hours rest – like Master…… Damn Fritz & all his works, I say!  One night we spent in rather a charming house or rather what remains of it.  There was rather a lot of nice Chinese porcelain there.  Three of us lived in a small kind of summer house hollowed out in a mound, on the top of which was a small temple, very like the Trianon one.  Quite comfy, but Fritz began dropping shells into the garden rather close to the temple, so we hopped into the cellars of the Mansion.  Much to the disgust of the Regimental H.Q. whom we found in the kitchen.  It was rather a crowd but safer.  In these trenches the Germans are pretty close.  About 30 yards from one of mine.  I prefer them further off.  Alas I never saw Ion.  I am so sorry.  I shall be glad when the next consignment of chocolate arrives as I have only got local stuff which is rather sweet.  I think there are some parcels waiting to be delivered here.  Of course our quick move absolutely spoilt our fine dinner party – The hen had to be left behind, but the curry powder was saved.  We had bought a bottle of starboard light, that also was saved and drunk in lieu of whiskey!  Before all these excursions and alarums, we used to look on our little rests as certain & almost as sacred as the Thursday holiday abroad, but now we have no sooner got in than we prepare to go out again!  Most disturbing.  If the mail comes in to-night I will write again……

The Daily Graphic was a literary magazine set up to rival the Illustrated London News, first published in 1869 and closing in 1932.  Odd that while facing possible death on an almost daily basis, Georges watch stopping should give such a fright!

From Sir John French’s 7th Despatch:

On the 14th February the 82nd Brigade of the 27th Division was driven from its trenches east of St. Eloi; but by 7 a.m. on the 15th all these trenches had been recaptured, fifteen prisoners taken, and sixty German dead counted in front of the trenches. Similarly in the 28th Division trenches were lost loy the 85th Brigade and retaken the following night. During the month of February the enemy made several attempts to get through all along the line, but he was invariably repulsed with loss. A particularly vigorous attempt was made on the 17th February against the trenches held by the Indian Corps, but it was brilliantly repulsed.

The 2nd Battalion were part of 81st Brigade of the 27th Division, so although not directly involved in the fighting, were presumably sent up in support.

The German submarine blockade of Great Britain began on the 18th February.

{next post 20th February}

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