GWL 17th March 1915 (Opened and labelled by Censor)

Much rested; how are you to-day?……..Braces flowed in yesterday morning, thank you so much.  I think I shall wear Dad’s pair first & keep yours in reserve.  The wonder is that my present pair have lasted as long as they have…….This morning Vicary took my photograph in all the war paint – He is going to send you one when they are ready, but don’t expect it too soon as you know what Vic is as regards photos in peacetime!

Of course there are “dug-outs” and “dug-outs”.  The majority are like Ion’s dog kennel, but the gunners I believe have quite palatial places with tables and things in them.  Ours are nearly all kennels though really quite comfortable when dry.  They are awful things to drip through when it rains.

Dad’s pipe is a good one.  I am smoking it now.  I don’t think I shall ever forget the first time I lighted it.  Heavens there was an unholy scrap.  It all started with a violent explosion a bit away from us.  The whole ground seesawed for quite an appreciable time before and after the sound reached us.  Much the same as an earthquake, I should think.  Then their artillery began.  But it all came to an end in time —- Rather a long time it seemed and was too, and here we are again, quite safe and enjoying a light repose.  I think Land and Water is a splendid paper.  Thank you for sending it.  To be quite truthful I only read that Water part of it.  somehow I can never take much interest in the Land part now.  I don’t know why, but it bores me! Silly, isn’t it?  This morning up to about 10.30 was perfectly glorious…….I must close now.”

kennel dugout

A “kennel” type dugout Thiepval Wood prior to Battle of the Somme


A more “palatial” dugout – a Command dugout near Hoog crater prior to Third Battle of Ypres

The violent explosion referred to in the post was the German mining of St Eloi Mound referred to in post of 16th March.

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