My dear Mother,
I cannot acknowledge any letters, as we have had no post for 3 days, the reason I suppose being Xmas parcels etc being sent up to the front & we are left without any. Probably we shall have a weeks post in one on Sunday & have to take everything along with us as we move up on Monday – by train I hope & expect. We shall be in reserve for the first few days & then move up into the front line turn & turn about, probably for some continuous time. The last few days have passed very normally. We had the Brigade Cross country run on Wednesday which was quite entertaining to watch, but our team were only second. To-day we have taken the Cinema Hall all the afternoon & evening & the men are having a concert to-night. The Field Ambulance has collared the hall for their Xmas dinner to-morrow & we have had difficulty in getting places for the men to feed in to-morrow. We are giving them 50 centimes per man out of the Regimental funds to spend on their dinners & they are out to have no end of a feed. Someone has got a pig & endless ducks etc & what with the Daily News ½ lb. of Xmas pudding & a larger meat ration than usual, it is as well that we dont move on the 26th. inst. I had a lot of trouble to-day with the proprietress of a local café as she would not let us her room, but after getting the Interpreter on to her & then the Maire who was not helpful & I am consequently reporting, we got it though I am not sure who won; as we’ve got to pay 10 frs for it. Our mules have all been provided with gas helmets now though I haven’t seen them wear them yet. As mules eat anything & everything, I don’t suppose they will last long though they must be very indigestible. It is a fact that every mule we have has eaten his headstall at least twice & the posts they are tied to have to be armour-plated with old biscuit tins to preserve them. We had a lecture yesterday on our new trenches by one of the Divisional Staff whom we are relieving. The good man did his best to depress us & pointed out at great length all their disadvantages, but some of our fellows who have been up there say that they are no worse than the previous ones we were in, & though they may be a trifle damp, so were our last ones. I rather fancy that the ground behind is marshy, but that won’t affect us so much.
Love to all