31. 10. 16
My dear Father,
Many thanks for your letter & for a book from Cecily. We are out of the front line, but still in dug-outs very nearly in the same place as I slept in the first time I came into this district.
Our last tour passed off fairly uneventfully except that the Bosch tried a raid on us a couple of nights ago, but got driven off without loss to us & our people claim 2 of him, but I couldn’t see them anywhere. However I think they must have bagged one or two, as we caught him on the hop & at very close range. The C. O. is still on leave having got an extension. so the show continues to remain in my
hands – not that I shall have much to do, as the men will all be out on working parties most of the day & in any event there will be nothing else for them to do here. We can’t do Battalion drill within view & range of the Bosch. I got a book from Cecily to-day by Taffrail, which should be very good.
Love to all
“Taffrail,” whom Jack references in this letter, is actually the pseudonym of Henry Taprell Dorling, a Captain in the Royal Navy during the First World War. He wrote several books about maritime adventures and, in particular, the Royal Navy’s service throughout the war. His work would have been well known by Jack and his contemporaries.