My dear Father
Very many thanks for your letters of the 5th & 6th & for Cecily’s of the 5th. I expect the Lingfield man will find it a bit difficult to get the parts he requires, as I suppose the company is making munitions. I was anxious about the greasing of it, as it is so easy to overlook, but of course if Wardill has done it all right the trouble must have begun some long time ago – before I had it, as I used to fill it up the grease constantly & probably overdid it if anything.
I shouldn’t be surprised if Glad turned up in the [illegible] & the [illegible] will hardly continue to operate in the same district, as it will be distinctly unhealthy.
Many thanks for getting a new number for the pram.
I have been on a Court Martial all this morning & have duly sentenced 4 very mild criminals, so I suppose the thumb-screws are now being got ready. Master J. Bourchier has I fancy not allowed his story to lose in the telling. If he is constantly in & near Ypres, he may have been in trouble as they are strafing the roads like anything at the present time. but I thought he was carrying ammunition for a heavy battery & I hardly see how they can be as far up. However I may be wrong.
When I said the new binoculars are probably bigger than the others, I meant in magnifying power. In actual size they are a trifle longer, but not quite so broad as my present ones.
The aeroplanes are very active to-day, & at the moment they are strafing a [illegible] up above us & the bits of aeroplane shells are falling back round here. One bit has gone right through a hut & given the occupier thereof a nasty smack on the shoulder whereat he seems rather startled. Since writing
the last sentence I hear it is the whole of an unexploded shell which has knocked his shoulder about pretty badly & continued through the floor of the hut 6 feet into the ground. It is freezing again to-night & is rather cold, so I am warming my hut with a wood fire, coal being at the moment unprocurable, though I am shortly expecting one of our mess waiters back with some as he confessed to-day to knowing of a place where it can be obtained, but he artlessly added that he has to wait till it is dark to get it – so I changed the subject. If this weather continues I must go round & see the N. C. O. who issues the coal with a small gift in my hand.
Would you mind ordering a mediumly soft (not floppy & yet not too stiff) service cap for me size 6 7/8 without sunshield. to be sent out at once. I burnt mine accidentally in a candle last night & find the ordinance here have got none. I will send a cheque when I hear what they want. Yrs. Jack.
B. E. F.
9. 2. 16.
Since sending up my other letter, I find I have left out the motorman letter & card which I return. I fancy the cost will be covered by my insurance. but there is some question of bearing the first £5 in it I think. Anyhow that question can be gone into later – especially as it looks as tho’ you aren’t going to be allowed any petrol to drive it. You will have to use Parrafin & fake up some way of using a little petrol in the carburettor to start her.