Daily Archives: June 5, 2016

5 June 1916

I am afraid you have not had a letter for about a week – I have not had a moment to myself in which to write one yet in spite of plenty of work I do not think anything interesting has happened.  Most of one’s time is spent wandering round trenches, trying where to avoid heavy showers – which have been rather frequent of late.  Shells are easier to avoid because they are so few & far between just in these parts.  Lyttleton I saw the other day – his battery is within five minutes walk of this place.  He seems to think that it is quite certain that Alington will get Eaton.  He is said to have refused Marlborough already because he was sure of the bigger job.  Two days ago I heard a few very interesting things and witnessed some equally interesting demonstrations on sniping by Hesketh & Pritchard who being a big game shooter is naturally acquainted with the subject.  He is going round taking a 3 day “course” with each Brigade in the army – and has already been at it for nine months.  It is rather cheering to find that the authorities send round some real “live” man with first rate knowledge – to teach one – instead of the usual “dry-as-dust”, theory-and-no-practice” sort of codger.  I was rudely awakened the night before last by a most tremendous bombardment.  It does not seem to have been anything particular – I am not even sure which side caused the noise – but it certainly reminded one of the good old days in the neighbourhood of Hooge.  Crashing bombardments were almost a daily occurrence at the time in those parts.  I see our Brigadier has got a C.B. And Williams of “ours” a Military cross.  There are a good many other honours in the Division but this Brigade has not captured many.  As you doubtless have observed they have not seen fit to give me anything – though my twin in the Scottish Rifles has been decorated.  We are all rather sick about the gap – with no dispatch – Oct – last year.  It may mean that a good many who would otherwise have been mentioned will not be.  However it is of no real importance, and we will hope for better luck next time that we do anything striking.  I managed to get to an early Celebration yesterday – within about 600 yds of the Bosch lines – a very nice little chapel in an old Barn.  The Padre is an energetic man and has a daily celebration there no matter what the weather and war conditions are like.  We had rather an amusing display yesterday afternoon.  One of our biplanes was flying fairly low over the enemy lines.  Several machine guns started to go for him, so he promptly looped the loop for their benefit.  He then proceeded to waltz about in the most extraordinary manner – standing on his tail – side-slipping – nose diving – in fact doing a regular “show” display all for the benefit of the enraged Bosch.