My dear Father,
Very many happy returns of the day. I am sorry to have been late in writing but what with the Bosch & other things I have been preoccupied.
We have been in close support for the last few days and are now going in to the line – for ordinary trench work I imagine. Anyhow it will be in what were Bosch trenches so we shall have plenty to do to make them habitable.
The Bosch comments on the Messines show are really humourous I see that in one place he claims that it ended in his favour, from which statement one can only conclude that he expected to lose
60000 & has only lost 50000 It is already very noticeable what a difference the loss of view makes to his shelling as he strafes away for all he is worth & no one is anywhere near to receive the benefit.
The weather is rather hot, but we have had a little rain lately to cool things & altogether it is not unpleasant. The Bosch put a number of gas shells over last night, so I tried to sleep in a gas helmet – a difficult operation & I was not successful. However the trouble did not last more than half
an hour. I don’t know that they were intended for us, but as we live close to a number of batteries we come in for some of their troubles as well as our own.
I saw a number of extracts from letters taken from prisoners lately. They all seem very fed up, but seem to bear it all fairly well. Apparently their officers leave them in the front line entirely to their own devices & live a long way back themselves paying an occasional visit when things are quiet to see that their men are still there. I don’t fancy that our men would appreciate that kind of thing.
Love to all