My dear Mother,
Very many thanks for your letter of the 1st & also for one from G. I think I have already acknowledged G’s cake, which was v. nice & saved several hides as we were starving when we got it. Yours has not arrived yet, though I expect it is in the post & that it I will get it to-morrow. I have had a book from C. & the strand from Odd, for which my gratitude.
As I am at the moment in the land of books, please don’t trouble to send any for the next few days as there is a book shop next door which supplies everything from the Spectator to the Vie Parisienne – at a price – & which will probably continue to do so unless the Bosch drops a bomb or shell on it, which he is rather prone to do in this particular place. As you will perhaps gather we have come back for a few days & I came on ahead this morning to take the place over.
I imagined that the rest of the Battn. would get back about 10 pm but they are not arriving till 3.30 a.m, so I have got to sit up for them till then. It is a beastly night & pouring with rain, so they will be pretty wet when they do arrive. I am in the town of but I mustn’t tell you except that it is the only inhabitable town I ever mention in my letters. The Hun has taken to strafing it lately, so the inhabitants are clearing out & we occupy their beds. My own landlord appears to have a very good spring mattress, which I shall occupy later on. There are a number of shops here & the Expeditionary Force Canteen & a troupe of Pierrots called the Fancies, who I believe are very good, so we are quite civilised & were the Hun not so obnoxious, it would be quite a pleasant spot. The authorities of the place are extraordinarily keen about not showing any lights, as the Zepps are wont to mooch about by night & drop things. so all the windows have to be carefully screened. but this would be necessary anyhow, as all the windows are broken & the rooms are a bit draughty accordingly. Unfortunately our billets are right at the other end of the town to the Town Major’s, who runs the place & he obviously lives in the spot which gets the least strafing, so we must pray that we don’t get any unwelcome attentions from the Bosch.
Tell G. that I will come home as soon as possible. only as I’ve said before there is no leave going at the moment.
Love to all