Daily Archives: June 12, 2016

12 June 1916

Though you might not think it, I am still alive & very fit.  Work and work again from morning till night – and all the time the weather is positively atrocious.  We never are vouchsafed a glimpse of the sun for more than an hour or two – while tonight is so cold that I have had to don my woolly waistcoat.   At this point I was called away to try and find a supposed spy who was signalling with a lamp in the direction of the enemy lines.  As a matter of fact the whole thing has turned out to be a “scare”, but that we did not discover until I had covered my best dress-clothes in mud, and slipped about all over the county in a pair of thin shoes.  My average day for the last week has been as follows.  Start out at 10.30 AM with a few sandwiches.  Return about 3.pm and spend next 3 hrs in writing daily report for Division – also in snatching a hasty tea.  About 6pm. I set forth again, armed with another lot of sandwiches, & stay out until dawn – wandering round trenches, visiting patrols – watching working parties, listening to the variety of noises produced by the always noisy Bosch.  Home again about 4.0 AM as a rule and then to bed until about 8.30 when I have breakfast – in bed – and get up and bath etc.    Each journey to the trenches is a matter of two miles or so and has to be done on a bicycle, and such a bicycle.  The saddle is always too low, and its screws won’t hold it – no bell or lamp – a mud road of most atrocious bumpiness – pedals that sometimes go round – sometimes jam, and more often than not go round aimlessly without having any visible effect upon the gear or wheels of the machine.  The night work is the part that I enjoy most though I have to give it a rest now & then; I have done so tonight.  It is not very satisfactory always going to bed immediately after sunrise – sleep then does not seem half so useful as it does at the proper time.  But it is at night that one gets most fun up in the trenches.   The other night we had painted and took out with us a fairly large notice board which we fixed up in fairly close proximity to the other gentlemans wire.  It bore the words VERBOTENER DURCHGANG – merely implying that we were owners of NO MANS LAND and had a right to dictate to the Bosch on the subject.  In one corner of this board – which was black with hideous orange yellow lettering and a large white skull and cross-bones in one corner.   So far to our disappointment the Bosch has not manifested any interest in our little venture, and we have not, as we hoped, caught any high rank Staff-officers looking over their parapet at it through field-glasses.  When I returned the next morning – or when I was called the next mid-day – my servant told me that the General had got gout – at least he was limping about with one foot in a carpet slipper.  It turned out that he had sprained his ankle, falling down the steps into his dug-out – a feat which he performed soon after a “fizz” dinner – given in honour of his recently acquired C.B.  We are all feeling very braced over Beatty’s victory in the N. Sea and only wish the papers would make more of it.  I suppose the catastrophe’s of K’s death has rather damped the rejoicing over the sea fight.

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