26. 10. 16
My dear Mother,
Thanks for your last & one from Cecily last night, also for some papers & a couple of books from Hatchards. We are in the trenches again & find them in a shocking state owing to rain. They are fairly all right & comfortable to you get up near the front line – when they become really beastly. However if we have a little fine weather – & it seems to be clearing up – we may be able to get them into some sort of condition. There is very little artillery but the Trench Mortars appear to be the nuisance, if allowed their own way. I went round with the General this morning together with our tame Colonel, who is inclined to be stout & visibly melted when
slugging in the mud. He is not a bad old thing but rather silly & I am quite glad he is not in command here. I shall be very much put to it if I have to write a report on him when he goes. It is rather curious coming back here, as it is very difficult to recognise the ground except the general features & all the trenches seem to have altered The country round is about as attractive as the black country in England & there isn’t a hill in view for miles, & the only
attractions are our aeroplanes & there are not many of them. I expect this Verdun show will have an effect, as I gather that the Bosch has moved all his guns from Verdun to the Somme & now they will have to go back again, unless he takes them from the British Front, when I suppose we shall try a show somewhere else. There is a shoal of about 30 aeroplanes just going over – on a bombing stunt I expect. Anyhow the Bosch is leaving them
a train or two & blowing up an engine. They sometimes fly alongside troop. trains strafing the windows with machine guns & when the train stops they get the passengers as they are getting out.
Love to all