Many thanks for your letter – I am sorry I had not written for a week; I was afraid it was a longish time but had not realized it was as terrible as all that. I will try and be better in future. Just at present there in nothing doing and consequently nothing to write about. I am still at Corps. HQ. and am having a rest. The work does not please me very much and I shall be very glad to get back at the end of my fortnight. Cole is much better having been very bad indeed for a day or two. I expect his arm, or rather what is left of it, will take some time to mend. He is very plucky over it all but will probably go through a stage of the most awful depression later on. I have written to D.A.D.M.S. London District to try and persuade him to get him into 27 Grosvenor Sq. I know he will be well looked after there. My new batman is turning our extraordinarily satisfactory and if he keeps on at his present rate will bid fair rival to the great Bosworth himself. He is very keen on his work and looks after me in a most fatherly way. The only fault is I think a too great respectability – a fault for which his predecessor was also famous. I understand that there have been a large number of new officers since my departure, all of them are doubtless awaiting my return with a considerable amount of fear and trepidation.
Very many thanks for several letters, a parcel of very welcome books and chocolate – I am eating the latter while I write – and also for the two letters from the School-people. I am at present having a rest. I don’t need one but my temper lately has been so bad and my language so unprintable that I was told to take one and packed off here. Here is HQ. 1st Corps. One of the General Staff Officers is on leave so I am keeping is office chair warm for him – a poor game really but I suppose very restful. Eyes get tired very quickly and are not right yet so I don’t mind. I am here for a fortnight within a stone’s throw of the Btn. So don’t alter the address on my letters, it is not worth while. This afternoon I am going to try and fine Ganny, I believe he is not very far away. I had a letter from Mrs de G to say that he was not seriously wounded and had returned to duty. I don’t expect I shall find him but it will give me something to do.
Very many thanks for two letters – I have been having quite a large post lately, several of the old hands having written – people one had almost forgotten. The weather has not yet broken, though it is cooler today and there are one or two ominous looking clouds about – I expect we shall have rain before very many hours are out. There is no news – we have got one or two new officers – one of them only 19 and never been out before – a rarity these days, and one well having as a rule, as his first time keenness ought not to have worn off – I hope not at all events. The Padre has returned from leave, he seems to have managed to enjoy himself in England, and there does not appear to have been much difficulty about obtaining food. I don’t suppose his wants are very luxurious or very numerous. My eyes are still not quite right – nothing seriously wrong but weak, watery and bloodshot – they get very tired is I do much work with them, reading, writing etc. The glare of the sun is also at times rather grim. We are having a comparatively peaceful time and for once in my life I have been a little bored at having nothing very particular to do for an hour or two during the day.
Just a line or two while there is nothing particularly much to do. The weather has changed again at last – I was afraid it might. Today is not nearly so hot as its predecessors, and there are unmistakable signs of rain in the near future. However our old cellar is more or less rain-proof though some of the trenches will probably get a bit wet. All our gassed servants have gone to England and Bosworth has arrived in Southport Infirmary. In addition to being blind for a bit he appears to have been much blistered. However he seems quite content with his present lot and I had a very cheerful letter form him a few days ago. One of my clerks has also been sent across, but he is I understand still too blind to do anything – cannot even write a letter. My store of literature is gradually becoming exhausted and I should be very grateful if you could send me out a book or two in some cheap edition. I have never read anything by Mark Twain so if you could find something by him I should like it. Will you also try and procure a copy of Merriman’s “Velvet Glove”. There may be one in my room. We want a copy in order to settle an argument. I am sure I am right but we cannot prove it – and I cannot find a copy anywhere in this country. We had a very merry evening the night before last – in Battalion Mess – with two most excellent guests – one of them Col. Sir Ian Colquhoun is a great man – late of Scots Guards, now commanding a second line Btn. We sang afterwards in the best old fashioned way.