Dec 10th 1916
My dear Father
I have a limited time in which to write for the mail. We have completed our long march and are within sound of guns again. The march was quite a good experience until the last day, two days ago, when it turned wet for the last stage. It was a rotten march in the heavy mud, and pitching camp on horrible mud in the rain was yet worse. The soil in this country is of exceedingly fine texture and packs so closely that water lies on the surface and takes hours to soak in so that it treads into a horrible mess. We spent most of yesterday drying ourselves and cleaning and draining the ground, and appreciating the sun and a breeze. Now we are busy planning how to cut ourselves down to a minimum of kit; as our next move will have to be made as light as possible, most of our belongings being dumped here until some uncertain date when we may hope to recover them.
It is getting fairly cloudy now, and cool even in the daytime, while the nights are very chilly. I think we may be very glad indeed of dry weather during the next week or two, so I hope we shall get it. At present we are very much in the dark, but it looks as if we shall keep to ground new to me.
We are at present located at a spot I should have known had I been up here during the summer. The telegrams have lately been full of the government changes, and the latest news yesterday says Lloyd George is forming cabinet which is generally approved out here I think. My short time was all cut off by a meeting, so I must close. I can make no promises about future letters but will try to write before anything very strenuous happens.
Very best love to everybody from
Your affectionate son
Cyril E Sladden