Daily Archives: March 29, 2016

29 March 1916

The weather is still very changeable & there are strong intervals in the spring sunshine with which we are favoured for several hours each day.  Yesterday was the Brigadier’s turn for the trenches so that meant I had to go as well.  As I believe I said each of the red-hats has to spend one night in three in the advance Hqrs.  The third officer, as on board a ship, shares the watch with the skipper, so I went with Col Jones, who is at present acting skipper; the real one is at home on leave.   We had rather an amusing time at night trying to mark out a new trench behind our present position.  The ground has been very much fought over, & one cannot walk three yards anywhere without coming to a water-logged shell hole.  It was pitch dark & trying to rain so you can imagine our difficulties.  The wind was blowing hard & the marking tape blew out in great curves which made it appallingly hard to keep a line.  We did it all of course by compass & only avoided breaking our necks by waiting for the Hun flares to shew us where not to walk.  Only once did I come down a real smash & then Toller came down full on top of me.  The whole thing was very amusing & a Machine Gun which occasionally came across our way added a little excitement to it all.   After all this excitement & amusement the rest of the night was fairly quite except for the mice which persisted in running all over the place.   Our Hq. hut has a good many large chinks in it & numerous draughts found their way into our bed-sitting room.  Otherwise it was a most delightful night & I slept very well.  I have now got a horse.  You must not ask how I have managed to get it, suffice it to know that it is here – a dark, almost black & rather sprightly lady.  She wants looking after for a time but will, I think, soon be a very useful mount.  We took her out this afternoon, & tried a few of the hurdle jumps that Viccars has erected at the back of our mansion.  She went over pretty well though I nearly come off myself once or twice.  I shall probably have to buy a saddle & bridle, & all the other necessaries for it when I do eventually get my leave but that will not cost a tremendous amount & it is just as well to have one’s own kit.  I hear the latest Bosch effort is to get bits of steel sharpened at both ends & painted a straw-colour, distributed amongst the oats for our army horses.  This seems to be a pretty poor way of carrying on the war, & it really is time that such things came to an end.  The damage so done can only be immaterial but the whole idea is so paltry.

Some newspaper correspondents are coming to pay us a visit so you may see some more nonsense about us in the halfpenny papers in a day or two.  Col. Jones is the man they always want to see because he goes on talking gaily for an hour or two about nothing in particular, & seems to give one an awful lot of information, while really he never says anything to which the censor could possibly take objection.