Allen is still away so I am still doing his job for him. This is being done on the office type-writer at which I am not yet an expert as you can probably observe from the numerous mistakes & erasures. We are not yet in the trenches & do not know when we are to go in, but imagine that we shall have another day or two’s rest. I have just come off Church Parade, a very cold & not over dry affair, the only consolation being that the sermon was short. The Division has been granted nine D.C.M.s for the recent battle & our Bde has collared seven of these so we have not done so badly. This Regiment has one; awarded to what the journalist is pleased to call a bomb-thrower, but we call a grenadier not being a society of anarchists. We have several new Subalterns, most of them undoubtedly officers but certainly not — they will need a great deal of instruction before they’re fit to be called members of this mess. I have started already to give them daily lessons in how to behave, & I only hope Allen will not turn out to be too mild & kind-hearted to carry on the good work. There are rumours that our never-to-be-sufficiently-maligned reserve battalion is “sending” us out a full Captain, if this turns out to be true there will be some fun. I know that Colonel will not put a man over a Company who has not seen service in this war, quite right too. At the same time a Senior Captain will not like being put junior to some Subaltern which is what will have to happen. It may only turn out to be idle rumour so we will wait & see & hope for the best. Just at present we are lucky enough to have a room big enough to hold the whole mess so have had one or two very merry evenings together. I too have a bed with real sheets, & share a room with the Colonel. The Doctor also has a bed & one or two of the Company Commanders as well. In fact the only thing to disturb our equanimity is the ceaselessness of the gun-fire which we can hear fairly easily from our billets. I have come to the conclusion that a typewriter is a foolish instrument; when I read over what I have written it does not look at all like what I meant to say. Also I could have written at least twenty five letters in the time it has taken me to write this one.