It is within the bounds of possibility that I shall presently change my position. Allen the Adjutant of ours is applying for a transfer to another unit, & there is at present no reason to suppose that his transfer will not go through. If it does there will of course be a vacancy, & the job has been offered me by Col Jones. I have accepted. Unfortunately there is one rather prominent obstacle, namely the Brigadier. For some reason or other he is annoyed with Allen for going, & with the C.O. for recommending him; consequently her refuses to let me go at present. This he has no right to do, as I belong to the Regt. not to him, & if they want me, no power in the world can stop me going to them. Incidentally it is promotion for me, & I cannot see why he should object. So long as the C.O. is firm & does not give way all will be all right, as I am quite confident it will. Meanwhile things are in a somewhat unsettled state. He won’t talk about the matter at all with his Staff people, & officially I know nothing about it, so cannot very well argue with him. I expect however that the C.O. will come & talk things over one day soon – and we shall win in the end. There is no better job than that of Adjutant & it is one that I have always wanted ever since it was first offered me in August 1915, when as now the Brigadier objected Jones gave way to him then because he thought that my attachment to H.Q. might bring me some job. It has not so now things are as they are. It will mean of course plenty of work but that I like: it will also mean living with the cheeriest set of men that ever walked this earth & that is a most important consideration. Please do not imagine that I shall be going to a job more dangerous or anything of that sort. I am quite certain that in our present abode we are far more likely to “head” a crump than they are at Bgde. H.Q. So far this letter has been rather serious, but I wanted to get it off my chest. Please do not talk about it to anyone, as at present the C.O., Brigadier, & his red-hatted followers are the only people who know anything about the whole tomasho, & it is all very secret.
The weather still continues to be very beastly. It rains or snows with great regularity each day & everything is coated in thick & abominable mud. The trenches are bearing up very well where they have been revetted, elsewhere they tumble down in periodical avalanches, engulfing everything & everybody. However the Germans are merely a mile away & most of the time we can walk about on the top without any fear of being seen – they can probably do the same – it is generally as thick as a London fog in these parts.
The alarms & excursions that I spoke of in my last letter still continue each evening but do (not) worry us overmuch, as up to the present they have not actually hit us. These little things come comparatively slowly & we have plenty of time as a rule to take up our beds & walk to the cellar, the funkhole, or in the case of serious bombardment down the mine.
Huskisson is still away on leave & Cannon with his weak heart are making tracks for Cap Martin or some other place in the South of France – We have another attached officer now in his place, a fellow named Gilbert from our 4th Btn. He was with the Queen’s Westminsters for many years & is by no means a chicken. He is by trade I believe an artist who illustrates books or something of that sort. He seems a very decent fellow & has a head on his shoulders which is something.
The alarums & excursions are just recommencing, so it is possible I may have to break this off & dive downstairs though I don’t suppose it will be much – they are stopping already – have stopped in fact – so no need for any disturbance. I don’t think I shall get too many cakes. Cannon was our chief source of supply & now that he has gone we shall want them badly I expect. It is very good of all you kind people at home to send us out so much.
Next time I write I will send you one of our terrible Xmas cards, one that is of the fated lot I carried here from Boulogne. The design is distinctly poor & the whole affair very shoddy – we are quite ashamed of Div. H.Q. & consider that they might have produced something much better. However such as it is I will send it along. No time for more must go & dress for dinner.