27 Jan 1915
My dear Father
Every letter that I have written home recently has crossed with one from the other end. I hope that, as I am writing earlier in the week than usual, this one will not share the usual fate. We are still here waiting on events. The big move seems to have begun, but I gather that it is to be fairly leisurely; so if we don’t go till the latter end of it there is a prospect of our being here for another month. I don’t know that I am sorry. Now that they have kept us here so long, they might just as well delay our departure until the weather conditions on the other side are slightly improved.
I am hoping to go to Sydenham this coming week end and I have written to try and fix up a small birthday celebration with the folks in Town (not omitting Betty) on Saturday afternoon. It will be very jolly to relax to the wholly civilian existence for once in a way.
Last night they began taking precautions with regard to the lighting in Watford similar to those recently exercised in London. I think there was some idea that the Kaiser’s birthday might be celebrated by the aerial raid on Hendon, which is, of course, quite near here. Myself, I think the birthday raid was that which stopped so smartly by the Lion & Co. A fine action, don’t you think? Every additional report seems to add fresh credit to Beatty and his men. I fully expect to have it leak out later on (after many months, maybe) that either the Derflinger or the Seydlitz, or better still both, sank before reaching port. That destroyer that reconnoitred so near to the German fleet made no doubt, in their report, of the desperately badly damaged condition of both vessels.
I received from Kath a few days ago the Xmas/birthday present of a luminous compass that you all united in sending me. Please spread my thanks among all concerned: it is a very good design of compass and strong enough to stand a good deal of knocking about.
I heard from Arthur’s a day or two ago. He had received my letter, though I think it wandered about on devious journeys first. He needs work and plenty of it: that is obvious. I can wish him nothing better than to be placed in a thoroughly busy hospital further up.
Love to all from
Your affectionate son