21 June 1916
My dear Father
I won’t miss the opportunity that a slack half hour gives me of writing to you for your birthday and wishing you many happy returns of it; no vain wish, though happiness in the future cannot be the same as that of the past.
Also I must enclose the letter of Cyril’s that I intended to put in with my last letter to May. I found today, to my surprise, that I still had it.
I suppose that interest at home centres in the Russian campaign even as it does here; though at home, Russia seems to absorb the attention of everybody almost to the exclusion of debate about affairs on the Western Front. Here, of course, the Western Front, although in a state of arrested development, looms larger in our eyes. Though references, open and veiled, to expected offensives are growing pretty common in the newspapers now. Well, if an offensive on this front had as much success as the Russians have had, with a promise of development to gigantic victory such as theirs promises to become, I think the War would not see this year out. I expect we shall soon see, anyhow.
I was glad to get your long letter of the 14th. Makes me want to come and see the garden and walk round the orchards assessing crops. Chances of leave are receding again. Fewer men are being sent now than have recently been sent. If only that presages a move Berlin wards I shall not mind!
Not much doing that I can talk about. Weather is excellent again and we are now in a delightful village. Drat the censor! One of the evil effects of the War will be to increase the already excessive taciturnity of the Briton.
Love to all from