Thank you very much for the parcel which arrived safely some days ago. I ought to have answered before but we were moved into the trenches two days earlier than expected & consequently I was somewhat rushed. Please let the Illustrated London News go on if it is not a great trouble. I always look forward to getting it about Sunday, it has not arrived for the last two weeks. The H.A.C. seems to have had a very thin time lately; Snow, Lacey’s friend, was blown to bits during an eight hour bombardment that they went through, & two stalwart O.M.T.s whom I ran into by accident the other day were both obviously shattered in nerve and could hardly talk about the whole thing without shuddering. The shelling here is absolutely continuous but up to the present they have left our little bit of trench alone, & but for some flying pieces from shells which burst about 400 yds away we have been left alone ………… since writing the last sentence I have been called away to bandage one of my platoon, hit by one of these pieces – scalp-wounds only, & I think a slight concussion. Quite a kid but one of my best, strong as a horse & looked as hard as one, also I could put him on to any dangerous job & knew that he was absolutely fearless. Only hope I get him back again soon. The beastly part about these trenches is the quantity of flies – swarms & swarms of them, great big buzzing blue-bottles cover everything, buzz around ones head & altogether make life a burden to one. They served out paraffin to the men to smear themselves – of course imagining that they would mix it with water. Some silly idiots went & put it on neat & are now paying the penalty for their silly idiocy. There seems to be still a good deal of Ypres left, several bits of towers are still standing & for a time at any rate the Germans seem to have given up shelling it heavily. The chief beauty of this particular spot seems to be that they can shell us from three sides at once if they want to, though I don’t think they ever do so.