Oct 27th 1914
My dear Father
I meant to have written on Sunday evening, but somehow it didn’t come off. You will be wondering what I am up to if I don’t write now. The time rushes by very quickly now that we have got well into routine. By degrees we are getting things into order. Most of the men have the greater part of their outfit now, though overcoats are still lacking, which is rather a nuisance now that the weather is turning wet and cold. Of course they have not got, and are not likely to get, a second uniform. We are still very severely handicapped by not having the proper pattern of rifles. We are to start shooting on the full range very shortly, which will involve a good deal of work for officers.
I am still in my tent, and am very comfortable there; I hear rumours of moving before long into some other quarters, but I am not in any special hurry. A sound tent keeps the wet out pretty well, though things get a bit damp; and the cold doesn’t matter so much so long as one has plenty of bed-clothes.
I have just had to get a new servant, as my old one has been made a lance-corporal and has other duties. The new man, whom I share with Neame, the senior subaltern of my company, seems to be a highly efficient man, so I hope he will turn out completely satisfactory.
There has been a lot of vaccination and inoculation done lately, which has been keeping men off parade a good deal. My men are volunteering very well for the inoculation, and only one of the first batch done on Saturday was very much upset by it.
Mela seems to be getting along well and liking her work, but I do think they might give her more to eat; there is never enough and she gets awfully hungry. I never heard such a scandal; men would soon rebel. She has sent me a photo of the nurses and some of the patients in her ward; she appears prominently, but it is a back view and not very easily recognizable. Perhaps you also have had one.
On Sunday evening I went to the Garrison Church, where Bishop Taylor-Smith was preaching. He is a fine preacher, and gave a very good sermon. It was such a wet evening that the numbers in church were not as large as when I was there before. I should think Ethel will have an exciting visit to Folkestone, which is quite near the centre of things these days. It doesn’t look as if the Germans are going to make a success of this attack in spite of all their efforts.
From your affectionate son
Cyril E Sladden