30 December 1915

Hotel Terminus de Marseille Saint Charles

There is some difficulty about the posting & censoring of these letters, & consequently, I have no idea how long they will take to reach you, or whether they get lost en route, or what.  Since leaving the scenes of more or less active warfare to come for my Riviera holiday, I have not had a single letter so know nothing at present of what has happened to you all since the 18th. on which you wrote the last letter which has turned up.  Two parcels that you have mentioned have not turned up, the one from Chip & Dini, & a book you spoke of as coming from Gran.  Doubtless they are now following me about, & will eventually reach me.  The troops who have so far arrived are all in Camp, a very nice spot close to the beach with good scenery all round them, the Generals & their Staffs of course stay at hotels & I suppose my General will do the same when he arrives.  I believe one at least of the Herrons must be somewhere here, so I am going to search for him.  Tomorrow night will be New Years Eve, & of course a great festival so we are preparing for a “beano”.  The Monmouth Adjutant is coming to dinner, & afterwards we shall go off to some Cinema or theatre.  Everybody I believe gets very rowdy, & probably there will be a “scrap” or two.  There are a largish number of English Officers about all quite ready for a “rag”.  As the men have to be in bed by 8 p.m. they will not be seen “scrapping” which is something.  There are also swarms of French troops who are very friendly to us all, & who will doubtless add to the row.  In fact I expect a pretty lively evening on the whole.  Yesterday afternoon there was no work to do so we went up to the Notre Dame de la Garde, a Church stuck up on an enormous pinnacle of rock —- on the top a great gilt Madonna about 40 feet high.  One goes most of the way up in a gigantic lift.  The view from the top is very fine as one can see the whole of the town & docks, the ridges running into the sea on either side, the mountain landwards, & the Chateau ’dIf,  & other islands out to sea.  Unfortunately it was not a very clear day but still well worth a visit.  There is absolutely nothing to say how long we shall be here.  The government which sends an able-bodied officer to the Riviera for a holiday is one to be commended; of work there is little or none, what there is, is mainly watching very interesting things going on.

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