My dear Father
Many thanks for your letter of 4th, and also for Mr Savory's. I hope there is a chance of real benefit from the operations. His writing doesn't look shaky, which is a favourable sign.
I am enclosing a signed Request for Payment of Dividends, sent on to me by Jack, the red-lined margin applying to you. Jack tells me the sale went well as we all thought it would. I don't recollect very exactly the style and condition of the wardrobe and chest of drawers bought for Cyril, but should reckon that at present prices £27 is not a bad bargain.
We have had very tempestuous weather for about 5 days, and I fear it is bound to slow down operations. However, one can still hope for a spell of some weeks' fine weather before the winter sets in - and if in that time the Hun can be gently persuaded to go another 20 miles or so east, so much the better.
I doubt if George is at the place you mention. That may be another London division, there are several. I should think he leave must be very near now.
I had a fair journey back, had to stay the night at Boulogne but got here at lunchtime next day. Have been acting for McNee in his absence on leave, but he returned on Sunday, so I may have a rather quiet time now, unless or until I get on the road again.
Mary writes that Baby has been on the sick list for a day or two, but is better again, but it has meant a couple of disturbed nights. Soon she is to be taken to the occultist again to see whether the eyes give satisfaction. I used to laugh sometimes when she looked over her glasses just as you do sometimes!
You have not done badly with plums this year. I suppose considering the thin crops your takings will be very good.
I'm sorry the Vicarage folk have so much ill-health in the house. I heard through Mary that the little girl is ailing also. How does Mrs Ashwin keep these days? Does Cyril hold out any hope of leave or home service? There is a scheme working now giving infantry officers from overseas a 6 months period of home service with the same acting rank as they hold abroad. Of course I expect the scheme can only be applied to a very limited extent, and possibly not to the Mesopotamian force at all. However, should it be applicable to Mesopotamia, perhaps Cyril could come within its scope.
I hope the agitation for a Gallipoli medal will succeed. The present half-hearted bestowal of a decoration on the Anzacs only is futile and most unfair to the Imperial divisions. All this ribbon and decoration business is getting ludicrous, and it looks as though in time it will bring to existence the state of affairs figured by W S Gilbert "when knights were two a penny". To this extent, that millions of men and women have done good service to the country, one can justify millions of decorations, but the present system is then not widespread enough..
The curse of the thing in the Army s that a good many less worthy senior officers seem to set more store on a CB or a CMG than on doing their job in the way they would do it if free agents and such men bear only in mind what their next senior thinks (who does the recommending). But not all grovel. I'm glad they have now removed the MC and DSO from any category but for actual valour in the field. There is much good office and administrative work done out here but it can be recognised if necessary by other means. Of course the new order is not retrospective, and so a very high proportion of "old regulars" have already secured their DSOs!
I hope May has been able to find help for the school work and that she is better for the change. Hardly a restful holiday.
With love to you all.
Your affectionate son