My dear Father
Many thanks for yours of the 25th received last night & for another box of cigars, on which I will report as requested, but at the moment I am only half way through the last box. so I will keep the others in reserve for the present.
I see I drew a cheque for my Comm. Union Premium on the 17th ult & I am pretty sure you have the receipt; I think you said it was in your safe.
I am writing this on Monday, but there is to be a show on on the right to-night & consequently there will be no transport up & no post out, & as we are to be relieved to-morrow night, I shall again have no opportunity of sending this off & it will probably not go till Wednesday.
The Bosch is evidently making a supreme effort Verdun way – they say he has 600, 000 men there to make the push with. Still everything is normal here, & I should think there would be some signs of life if it was necessary to make a counter attack. I can just hear guns going like beams down in the south, which I suppose are the French – I think I might hear them as the wind is more or less southerly.
The snow has gone, but the ground is in a filthy condition in consequence & it is not yet much warmer. I don’t think there need to be any fear of gas up in the end of the salient, as they would be just as likely to gas their own men down the sides as ours & in any case we are quite prepared for gas in any form. A very interesting summary of information from a deserter has come round lately & they say that for a Bosche, he is fairly truthful. He states that our light artillery is much better than theirs, which is rather a surprise. Apparently the Hun bursts his shells fairly frequently among his own men, but such an occurrence is rare with us. he also states that the gunners are very often drunk & that the discipline of his crowd is very lax. They have been punished by having their leave stopped but they refuse to go out on patrol when ordered & generally seem to do v. much as they like. He is a Saxon & I daresay they are worse than the others, but I had heard recently of several occasions on which they have had mutinies over the way, so their condition must be very much changed from what it was at the beginning of the war.
The strafe to-night is intended to retake our trenches which the Bosch still occupies & I fancy they ought to do it all right.
Love to all