Jan 9th 1916
I am afraid my promise went “phut” completely. The letter I wrote soon after our sudden recall to business lies still in my pocket because there was no post office to take a letter. Now I am back again after a fortnight engaged in repeating our efforts of before Xmas. That is the worst of doing a ticklish job well; you get sent to do any similar (but rather more ticklish) one as a recognition of your competence. I am writing only an hour or two after reaching camp again, and as I was a fairly early departure do not yet know more than that our party came away quite unmolested last night. I want to give you news of myself without delay as I picture you wondering what on earth has happened to me. The more so as we have had an officer killed three days ago, whose name in the casualty list will show you that we have been in action a few days hence.
It seems that the Turk wasn’t quite caught napping this time. Anyhow he poured out all the ammunition he had got (I should think) on us two days ago. So I can add to my experience that of a day’s furious bombardment, worse than any that one of our officers ever experienced during seven months in France. Casualties were absurdly small compared with what one would suppose inevitable, which bears out the fact that high explosive has more moral than material effect.
I will write fully soon. Best love, dear.
Your ever affectionate
Cyril E Sladden