Daily Archives: July 28, 2016

28 July 1916

Having not written for about a month it is now about time that I did so. Doubtless the lack of news gave you the hint that I was now back at my old games and that my knee had ceased to be troublesome. I paid my first visit to the trenches, since convalescence, yesterday and got very hot doing so – the weather has improved vastly. We start each morning with a heavy, damp Scotch mist, but that clears for the afternoon and then all is well. The trenches are looking their very best just now – the poppies and the cornflowers look very well against the darker background of thistles and the general effect though too wild for the horticulturist is none the less very pleasing. Scarlet Pimpernels grow here, there and everywhere and there is never any need to search for him. Today I had to conduct a red-hatted Staff-officer round the trenches – an amusing fellow in some ways. We got spotted in one place and the Old Bosch let fly quite a lot of shrapnel at us. We of course were in a trench and so could not be touched: it was very amusing to see the red-hatted one squatting down in a corner, wondering whether or not the next shell would remove his head. I am afraid I shrieked with laughter and enjoyed myself immensely. At first the shooting was not over good but they corrected very quickly and in the end were bursting them just above us. Shrapnel is very harmless when one knows what to do. There is rather a good story told of the cavalry in this last stunt of theirs, one cannot of course vouch for the truth of it. They apparently were drawn up on some turf, beyond that was a cornfield where the Bosches were. At the right moment the officers yelled Hooroosh, and the men cheered and off they went. They crossed the turf like a streak of lightening, and got well into the corn. Unfortunately their horses were unaccustomed to charging men, and when they got within a few yards of the enemy stood quite still and started chewing the corn. The poor old cavalry leaned forward with their lances but could not quite reach – so they had to dismount and do the job on foot. All this to be taken cum grano salis – as they say. I ran into J.D. Fry the other day – at least he passed me on the road and yelled to me. He is looking very fit and seems to be enjoying himself very well. When war broke out he got to Malta – since then he has been in Egypt and Gallipoli, and had a scrap with the Savasi – so he has not done so badly on the whole. The day before yesterday I went over to call on him and found another O.M.T. with him, by name Hill. I was at school with him but cannot say that I remember him very well. They are living not so very far from here so I shall probably see them again presently. The show that I went to see about a month ago has now got a new revue so I must make tracks to go and see them again when I can find spare time to do so. They are so popular that one has to book seats a week before hand in order to get in at all, and it is never very safe to make engagements more than a day or two ahead in this jolly old country. I hear C.L. Nicholson has got a “Division” – he has been fairly rapidly promoted lately, though I believe he had to wait a good time for his first step or two in Staff work. He will now be Major-Gen. Nicholson. Our own new G.O.C. is a terror in some ways, that is to say he wears a monocle and glares at one in a terrifying manner. He is also, incidentally, very theatrical, lays his hand on one’s shoulder when speaking and all that sort of thing. I daresay he will get on very well – he certainly seems to have a most enormous amount of energy – more than one could say of his predecessor.