1 October 1917

What sort of a time are you having in Bromley?   The weather at all events ought to be good if you are having anything like what we have got here.  It is really wonderful for October, and I hope it will last: one can wander about all the old unpaved trenches in comfort – an absolute impossibility after a little rain.  I like my work very much but should find it less tiring up here if I could only work in fairly decent air, instead of at the bottom of a great deep dug-out, which though absolutely safe is somewhat inclined to be headache producing.   As a general rule I get out soon after lunch, and stay out until it is nearly dark. On these rambles I am accompanied by a most invaluable orderly named Sullivan – an Irishman from N. London, who, for some unknown reason, enlisted in the Regular Btn of this Regiment a year or two before the war.  He considers himself my property and objects most strongly if he has to go round with anybody else, or if I take anyone but him with me. He is a most calm individual, and has an amusing but somewhat irritating habit of rolling out some inane platitude just as one is hiding one’s head ignominiously at the sound of some approaching shell. Nothing alarms him – he is consequently priceless and just the man for me. My next trip round the line, or at all events into the open air is at about 10.30pm. By that time I have generally managed to dispose of all the stackes of literature which higher units, commands, and formations see fit to shower upon us at all hours of the day. Once again Sullivan comes along with me, and we go and survey the countryside by moon-star- or no light as the case may be. Just at present a night walk differs very little from a daylight one as the moon has been lately as bright as I have ever known it.  Moore has got back to us form his month’s leave for getting married, and just at the moment is second in command. James Gfiffiths has gone to England for 3 months on a course at Aldershot.  He went away from us last night as happy as a sandboy. Burnett, who normally takes his place is away on short leave, so Moore is acting. We have plenty of officers, and they look like making a very excellent lot, and what is particularly useful a very brave and adventurous lot.  The spirit of adventure is one of the greatest assets a young officer can have, and only too often in these days it is absolutely lacking.   It is just possible I shall not have time to write again in time for your birthday, so you must accept my very best wishes now – I hope next year I shall be somewhat nearer than I am at present. Everybody here seems to imagine that the war is to all intents and purposes won. It seems to be an established fact that the enemy is in a very bad way. Though on this particular front his attitude seems as warlike as ever – it really is a little strange that he has not done more with Russia in a state of Mutiny. There does not seem to be any apparent reason why the Pickelhaube should not be walking on the Nevsky Prospect, and yet the Hohenzollern is still a very long way off the Capital. So tell Dad not to get depressed over a raid or two, and to remember that we are in a very good way indeed.  The number of O.M.T.s has been still further increased by the introduction of Cole and Westcott – we now total seven which is I think quite enough for one Battalion.

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