GWL 31st July 1917

We are having a Puccini evening.  We have three records.  They are rather hard worked.  Not a scrap of news of any kind.  I am so glad you find your teaching so interesting.  I have a most comical ‘Guardee’ here now.  An awfully nice fellow in the R.F.C.  He is most amusing.

The padre has arranged for regular “make prays”.  He was most awfully depressing at the last one.  His main point seemed to be that the war would not end until we had wiped out all unworthiness from ourselves!  A jolly sort of thing to tell a soldier in the fourth year of the war.  According to that formula the war will never end.  So thoroughly cheering, isn’t it?

Has your Father’s D.S.O. been in the papers yet?  I have not seen it.  Very hot now.  The hut is a perfect godsend to us.  The small cats are very well.  Do you think you could send me “Chinese Characteristics”?  It is the sort of book that is always readable.”

Chinese Characteristics, written by Arthur H Smith was published in 1894.  Arthur Smith was a missionary in China for 54 years and this was one of several books about China and the Chinese.

This day saw the battle of Pilckem Ridge, the first phase of the Third Battle of Ypres, also known as Passcendale.  The Allied Offensive lasted over 14 weeks.  The Allied gains were approximately five miles.  The casualty figures, although disputed, exceeded 500,000 from both sides.  Although the ground gained was limited, the Germans were tied down, and when combined with the Battle of Cambrai later in the year, saw the turning point in  the war on the Western Front.

{next post 3rd August}

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