24 July 1916
My dear Father
I intended to begin this letter two days ago, but something intervened – I forgot what – oh, yes, it was a sick horse. And yesterday we were busy preparing for an inspection which took place this morning. For the third time in succession we have been pronounced the best Transport in the Brigade, so we are all pleased with ourselves.
I must try and get my correspondence well up to date tomorrow, for we are on the next day. I think there is little doubt we are bound for the main theatre of operations. Naturally nobody is exactly overcome with joy at the prospect of getting into such a “hot shop”; though there is a sort of feeling that is was due to the prestige of the Division to send it there. The older Divisions out here are torn between two opinions: one, that they have done so much that they should not be called upon to do any more big fighting: the other, that it is not fair to bring all these new formations out and let them say that they finished the war. I think that in the end professional pride wins the day.
I think that operations are proceeding favourably on the whole, though of course the price we pay is a heavy one. As at Verdun, the attackers must be the heaviest losers; but we have made much more practical progress in three weeks than the Germans did.
(27th) I could not finish this and we have been on the move two days since then, and may be moving again tomorrow. Luckily the weather is fine, so one needn’t trouble about billets, which have not been plentiful just lately.
I received the letter from Cyril to you and also Mela’s copy of extracts. (By the way, I am very sorry to hear about Cecil. I hope that there will be definite news of him before long.) So you have had cheerful letters from Simla. I rather envy Boo his visit there. But I suppose his leave is practically finished now. I wonder whether he goes back to Mesopotamia. Both that campaign and Salonika are at present “wrapt in mystery”; I wonder whether we shall hear, presently, of sudden flares of activity in both or either of these places. More likely in Mesopotamia I think, especially now that the Russians are going on again in Armenia. We hear now that Erzingan has fallen, and I think the authority is good enough to believe; though I am surprised at the rapidity of its fall after Baiburt.
I am sorry this letter has taken so long but the last two days there has been no out post anyway, even if I had been able to finish it.
Love to all from