14 August 1916

Viccars has been out to see me and brought several letters and two parcels. For them all very many thanks, especially for the cake which is excellent. I am now able to get about a good deal though the knee is not completely healed yet and may still take several days to get right. I have at last got rid of the formentations and my dressings are all of the dry variety. The sports yesterday came off with great gusto – the favourite events being the obstacle and V.C. races and a slippery pole. The last two are not usually to be found in sports even out here. The V.C. race is on horseback – the competitor has to race 100 yds jump a hurdle, race 150 – stop, dismount, pick up a wounded man represented by a large sack, remount and ride another 400yds including two more jumps, carrying the blesse across his saddle. As most of the horses were ordinary pack and transport animals that had never jumped in their lives, the result was most diverting. Fortunately there were no serious accidents. The slippery pole was fastened across a small swimming bath. The competitors two at a time sat on this and tried to dislodge each other into the bath, being armed with a three foot broom-stick with a swab on the end of it. Everybody of course ended up in the water much to the delight of the audience. Having learnt that Barton and Williams were both in the neighbourhood I went over to see them yesterday. Both are due to leave for England today. Both were very cheerful and quite content but though not dangerous their wounds are by no means contemptibly slight. Today I went for a joy-ride in the car taking the wounded from here down to the C.C.S. a town to which we have several times paid visits and where I was once billeted in a newspaper shop. In the same shop I walked into an O.M..T. – a fellow I did not know very well. However a few yards outside I ran into H.C. Stephens whom I knew very well indeed and he and I went and had tea together. It is a most remarkably small world out here – one is for ever running into people that one knows. The weather at present is remarkable for its’ heat. It rained a little last night but not enough to cool the air, and the nights in particular are very close. Tonight we look like having a thunderstorm but I don’t know if it will come off or pass over. We get plenty of rain as a rule so I dare not say that we could do with a little now. At the same time enough to lay the dust would be rather welcome.

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