13 February 1916

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8th Queens
B. E. F.
13. 2. 1916

My dear Mother,

Many thanks for yours of the 10th & for the Caravaners from Cecily. I am none the worse for my fall from the gee, only I am glad to say it was not into soft mud though regret still that it was on to very hard cobbles. I don’t fancy there is anything in the naval battle rumor, or we should have heard something here. We had a bit of excitement here last night as the artillery were going for all they were worth up the road & we didn’t know what was up, so we were prepared to set out for Berlin at any minute. but nothing happened. I think our guns have been rather too busy lately, so the Hun got irritated & let ‘em have it back yester-day in earnest & of course we had to reply. so that is what all the noise was. I don’t expect the infantry has had any say in it at all & certainly not in our section – which seemed so quiet that we thought they had declared peace.

I have at last recovered my washing, for which I have been searching the countryside for a week & then only by sending miles away to a hospital to find out from my servant there what he had done with it.

I went out yesterday with the C. O. to look at our fort & on the way we picked up the Brigadier & as we were going across country, we made the little man jump a ditch, which was rather too much for him & he very nearly went right in. However we got to the place & found there the Divisional G. O. C. & the C. R. E. (sapper C. O.) & another brass hat & all because we had asked to be supplied with some barbed wire to put round the place. so it shows how little these brass hats have to do that they should interest themselves in such details. Any competent sergeant could have calculated the amount of wire in 5 minutes, but it took these people one hour to arrive at the amount & I don’t suppose they are right now.

They say that there was a Zeppelin over here during the excitement yesterday afternoon. I saw some coloured streamers in the air, which I thought had been dropped from an aeroplane but which they now say were dropped from a Zepp. There was a flock of aeroplanes up there too, so I suppose they were chasing the Zepp.

Love to all


I have sent Odd a copy of this.


Since the 10th, the battalion has been in rest behind the lines. Peirs has been very concerned about the fate of his clothes, which his servant sent off to be cleaned before falling sick, and Peirs has had to make due with what he has on hand for the past week. In this letter, though, the mystery is solved and he got his clothes back.

Peirs continues to be 1) baffled by the meddling of the Brass hats and 2) in awe of the Zeppelins flying overhead. His love of all things mechanical no doubt contributes to the latter. The week’s excitement came from a frightening barrage and then counter-barrage, the sort of thing that had more to do with reciprocity than anything else, but was enough to cause some degree of alarm that an attack was on.

Soon the battalion will be rotated back into the line near Sanctuary Wood.

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