My dear Mother,
I have several letters to thank you all for and 2 cakes. Since my last letter I have had a variegated time and am at the moment well behind the line & out of the sound of guns and warfare generally. We hope for at least a fortnight here – here being a small & pretty little French village which just accommodates us all comfortably with beds for all the officers. It has been quite a rapid move as I only left the front line trenches at 4 a m yesterday morning & got here at 11 p m last night.
We had a moderate time for our 3 days in the line, as the artillery was very active, as also the Bosch patrols. They evidently did not know their position, as they are in one of their old line of trenches. Their aeroplanes are very active too & ours are not very much in evidence at the moment, though they turn up occasionally & chase him off. A whole lot of Bosches came over the other day & did stunts about 500 feet above our line, and as all their machines are
painted in brilliant & various hues, we rather enjoyed the display. I fancy our people are being given a bit of a rest as they had a hard time at the beginning of the month & things seem to have settled down for the moment anyhow. However they will no doubt turn up again when the time comes.
We were in rather an interesting part of the line on the high ground while the Bosch is in the plain below & we could see his guns firing, so the artillery should have no difficulty in laying them out when they want to. I went over one of the old Bosch positions where he used to look over us from & it was extraordinary how much he could see whereas now he can only see things from his balloons which will cease to exist when necessary – so the tables are nicely turned. I have also recently seen one or two of our balloons brought down. They burn very well & disappear before they reach the
ground. It is quite a fine sight, as at the same moment the sky is full of the occupants of all the neighbouring balloons – each in his own parachute descending slowly to the Earth. They have to nip out pretty quickly or the balloon drops on top of them & they don’t waste any time about it. When in the line we lived in an old Bosch dug-out made of solid concrete and about 9 ft by 16 ft by 6 ft high inside & most uncomfortable. 3 of us & a signaler crowd into this & most unfortunately the Bosch knows exactly where it is & the thinnest side & doorway is towards him, but it would stand a good deal & the only damage he did was to smash up most of our mess plate (otherwise some enameled plates & mugs). However it was distinctly uncomfortable at the times when he was shooting at it. Luckily there was a rather better one a little way off which we didn’t use but which he wasted most of his shells
on. There are a lot of concrete dug outs about the place. I don’t know how he manages to make them as we never could, but he seems to have had concrete galore. A number have been knocked in by our heavy guns, but a lot have survived & they come in very usefully. I have got a very good billet in a farm & a most comfortable bed, & if the weather is fine we ought to have a very good time, but we have had a lot of storms lately, & when it does rain you get soaking wet in no time. We are also in a land flowing with strawberries & cream, so we have come out at the right time. Unfortunately we are some miles from an anglicised town, so it may be difficult to get things we want.
Love to the family. I trust Jane is in form.