My dear Odd,
Many thanks for your last. As you truly observe the weather is pretty awful – in fact unprintable, & I watch the trenches falling in on us daily, while the cries of the smaller soldiers reecho in my ears, as I walk over them in the trenches. You see the mud is so deep that only the very tallest can hope to survive & all bantams are drowned very early on. This is quite a new one you now mention. I wonder if he is any relation to our Corps Commander, who is a fusty old gentleman, who dates his soldiering back to the late thirties, but who still manages to get round the front line. We had a whole bevy, Corps Divisional & Brigade staff all round together & they eventually decided some rotten little point, & I can’t carry out their decision because I have other things for the men to do & consequently carry on as before. In fact I don’t really know that they do want
& I’m quite certain they don’t, as they know nothing of the conditions & I’ve no doubt they went home & had a 7 course dinner thinking they’d done a good day’s work, while we shammock about this beastly muck-heap & keep the Bosch out of their blessed cook-house. Really I do get a trifle annoyed with them at times I have moved from my last dug-out, as it was quite evident that it was planted in a cemetery & am now in quite a cosy one “with a window.” Unfortunately the roof leaks but luckily not on to my bed, so I have somewhere to go if the worst comes to the worst. I have recently seen a mine go up – one of ours – saw it a good way off. The ground seems to swell
into a sort of bunion & then bursts & lots of flames come out of the middle & then someone starts a machine gun & someone else puts a little shrapnel over the place & then everyone goes to lunch. Quite simple & done in a gentlemanly fashion out of meal times, so that no ones comfort tis really disturbed Even the Bosch who is blown up, is thought of & has had his breakfast & rum ration (if he gets one) – it would be hard times to blow him up just before this eventful moment in his day. We have just got a subaltern from the sniping school & is full of zeal & I’m so afraid he’ll stir up the other people to retaliate & we shall get it hot, as they can catch us in all sorts of places. I must soothe his uncalled for ardour & insist that he sits over places where I know there aren’t any Bosches & then everyone
will be satisfied. I am sorry to hear of your estrangement with Knyvett Totton.