26 July 1915


I really believe that we are going to have a rest at last.  The relief will take place tonight & we shall go back for six days bivouac, returning to the trenches again next Saturday night.  A bivouac it is true, does not sound very promising in this weather bur I dare say we shall manage to survive somehow.  Today has been fairly fine & warm except for one gigantic thunderstorm which completely flooded us out, & just made everything in a mess as we were cleaning up.  Last night passed off quietly, the Huns did not try any tricks either dirty or otherwise.  Two of us took a stroll over towards their lines, but found so much barbed wire & empty tins all over the place that our progress became somewhat noisy & we thought it best to return, which we did without any difficulty.  My platoon is “Sticking” it very well considering the enormous numbers of sick we are having.  Several of my people have gone to hospital, several others are carrying on their work but are not fit by any means.  Six days rest will put us alright, if only we can get some dry weather.  It is the wet which brings on the rheumatism, & internal chills etc. which are so prevalent just at present.  The common complaint caught me also, & I have not been really right since I returned from home.  However the excitement of the night before last, & the fact of having something to do, which was more or less worth doing, quite cured me; I am now entirely fit again, & have never felt better in my life.  Three new Officers have come out to us & we are expecting more to follow soon.  Lawton, whom we left behind sick, has turned up again, you will find him in the Luton photo.  With him were Wynne & Marriott both Uppinghammians, quite good fellows all the same.  Allan & Langdale, who were sick, have returned, Wollaston has got his leave, Sharpe & the Adjutant are still away in hospital somewhere.  We are not likely to get our draft of men yet as I understand they are going to be used for some other purpose first.  What new men I have got are pretty good.  One is a hefty coal miner who came in very useful a few days ago.  Several R.E. fellows went down our mine rather too soon after an explosion & were consequently overcome by the fumes.  This man of mine promptly volunteered to go down, & very shortly re-appeared bringing him one of the “gassed” men.  A very good piece of work on the whole which shows that he at all events is made of the right material.  Mould has returned from Rouen where he was looking after some new men.  During his stay there he managed to get leave, & we are now bored by the hour by his glowing accounts of his Sawbridgeworth “fiongcee”, intermingled with passages from the history of his doings at “Rouong”.  On the whole I think he deserves to be shot, or else marooned in the Fiji Islands, where he can pour out his tales of love to some solid audience of far Fiji fishmongers.  He really is a terrible fellow.  Jeffries has been a little lighter of late but Knighton is usually in the deepest & dumpiest stages of mental & physical depression.  So it is left for me to keep things cheerful which I do to the best of my ability.

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