B. E. F.
2. 7. 18.
My dear Father,
I have been in the trenches the last few days, and have been pretty busy in relearning the arts of trench warfare & finding my way about. The whole area is a maze of old trenches and very confusing in consequence, but I have got the hang of it by now. Our mess is in an old crater and about 40 ft underground – rather dismal & mouldy in this gorgeous weather, so we have built ourselves a summer house upstairs where we live during the day & sleep below. The Bosch is very quiet, and barring a little shelling of back areas in the evening, there is nothing doing. I fancy he sleeps
during the rest of the time.
I have got a number of those 18 ½ year old boys now, most of whom are quite good, but one or two are still very juvenile & do not seem to be more than about 16. One of them burst into tears in the orderly room the other day (I wasn’t back then) when run in by the Sergt. major for some small offense & two nights ago another had to be led in from No Man’s Land when out on patrol, as he was weeping so bitterly. We can’t have our patrols given away by the sound of lamentations, as it would not look well in any report. However it is only a question of time, & I gather they have come
on amazingly since they joined us 2 months ago.
The old Bosch seems to be taking his time about his next attack. He appears to have got the Spanish flu pretty badly, as I hear the other day that one of his divisions should have come into the line somewhere but could not do so, as they were all down with migraines. May the microbes continue to flourish say I. I hope Glad. is comfortable at Lelant she must have had an awful journey with that infant.