GWL 23rd February 1915

INT PARADYS” (That’s what it says on the door – Must say am disappointed)

Your letters of the 18th &19th have arrived, thank you.  Very nice of Kitchener, wasn’t it?  I hope he meant it.  Yes, we went to new trenches, I think a good deal worse than the old ones, but by the time you get this we shall have finished with them.  There has been heavy scrapping round there lately and a good many things are lying about, which one would rather have underground.  We had a fog each day until about 12 noon or 1, but continuous all yesterday and very thick last night.  It must have been the frost following on a good deal of rain.  The night before last I think all the mice in Belgium must have slept in my dug-out.  The roof is partially made of unthreshed wheat and they live there and impart a homely odour to everything.  We cooked some of the barley broth, as it was beastly cold and really it was excellent and very warming.  It has got so dark all of a sudden that it rather looks like another thunderstorm or snow.  Yesterday the spirit moved me to draw.  I enclose two copies of a great series by G.H.P. of the “trench wallah” at home; One is fine weather kit and the back view wet.  The next is to be “The return of the trench wallah from his trench”.  Very difficult and will take a long time.  A very fine periscope has just arrived and also a parcel of sweets, which I have not opened yet.  In my trench I found a piece of German war bread – Quite fresh & not bad, but tastes rather too sweet for bread – Also some plum pudding and a bit of tongue”

TrenchWaller 1TrenchWaller2

These are scans of the original drawings still in family hands.

The 22nd February saw the end of the Second (Winter) Battle of the Masurian Lakes as the Russians halted a German advance on the Eastern Front.  The battle had lasted two weeks and resulted in 56,000 Russian casualties and 100,000 captured with 16-17,000 German casualties.

{next post 24th February}

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