20. 9. 1916.
My dear Father,
Many thanks for letters from all members of the family since I last wrote. Owing to an alteration in billets & the odds & ends therely entailed I have had no chance of writing for the last 2 days. We seem to have exchanged one quite pleasant village for another, though owing to the weather we got very wet in the process. I am expecting a few more nights in a very comfortable bed & then we shall probably go up nearer the line. We had great trouble with one of our horses last night, who developed a bad go of colic & had to be sat up with & dosed all night. Luckily he is all right this morning though looking very sorry for himself & I don’t blame him, judging from all the stuff he swallowed.
Our doctor is on leave, so we have a substitute from the ambulance – quite a genial little thing from Western Canada, but his manners require a little polish & he is rather given to spitting. However he will not be ours for long. I hear the tanks they are using on the Somme were quite a success, though 2 or 3 are now prisoners in the Bosche’s hands & one or two are deranged by being hit by crumps. I gather that none of the crews
had been out before, which must have been rather a handicap, as it is not easy to spot machine guns & such like till you know more or less where to look for them, so I suppose that next time they are used, they will do better still. They appear to be quite convinced that by the middle of next month the Bosch will be really hard put to it for men & it is quite clear that he is losing as many ^ a very large number of men daily behind the lines from our continuous artillery fire, so whether this weather goes on or not they will keep the guns on him all the time & if he persists in holding out, he will have the same thing along the whole front for the whole of next summer & I don’t envy him the prospect. I know no more about leave only I don’t see why I shouldn’t get some fairly soon, say early next month, but I can’t say anything for certain.
Love to all Jack.