13. 10. 16
(rec 18. 10. 16.)
My dear Family,
I don’t think I have any letters to acknowledge for 2 days, but lots of papers & letters for which many thanks. Also one or two books which are very welcome, as there is absolutely nothing for one to do all day, the men being all out on working parties & there is nowhere to walk to except wander about in the surrounding desert. We are just on the boundary of the original French & German lines & it is interesting comparing them as they were 18 months ago to what they would be now. It is quite evident that there was nothing like the shell fire then that there is now & trench mortars must have been more or less non existent, whereas now they are what the commonest form of explosive in the trenches.
We have had a lot of trouble with our fire place in the mess, as the smoke is so awful that you can’t live in the place (it is not unlike a potting shed with no windows) while the fires are burning, but we have now devised a method of getting 50% of smoke up the chimney which is all to the good, & we can manage to swallow the rest.
Love to all