9 Sept 1916
My dear Father
How the months do slide away! It seems no time since the Somme battle began and it comes as a shock, to realise that we are well into the third month of it.
Post has been very irregular lately, so I shall not wait for a letter from home before sending this. I daresay there is a letter on its way, but one can’t say when it may arrive. I grudge very much these disturbances of the letter post: nobody minds if parcels are held up to meet military exigencies; but really the letters for the Army can’t occupy a great amount of transport and I think that they should be sent through without delay.
I saw today two locusts. I don’t know whether it is an insect that commonly appears here. I was very surprised, for I had always imagined that they only came as far as the extreme south of Europe. I thought it, too, that they were spring insects. They could hardly do much harm at this time of year.
I suppose you are getting on with the fruit now. Judy spoke of considerable activity in the orchards. I suppose the crop this year is not too great to be handled, in spite of labour shortage.
It is rather annoying that the Central Powers are making headway in the Dobrudja. I saw an article by Ashmead Bartlett in which he doubted whether the Romanians had been sufficiently welded, by the terms of agreement with the Allies, with the single front strategy. He considered that their aim for Transylvania first was an error of strategy and that they should have cooperated first of all in the extinguishing of Bulgaria. Events rather bear him out; but it is likely enough that the Russian advance through the Dobrudja is in force fully sufficient to dispense with any great assistance from Romania there. At all events, the attack on Transylvania effectively presents the transfer of any Austrian troops, and perhaps that is more important than anything else. The Allies can hardly do better than check every possible means of an initiative (however partial) which might be achieved by a sudden surprise concentration of troops against some unsuspected point.
The Dobrudja can scarcely provide such a point of application, for the Russians have doubtless estimated the situation there in all its bearings; and when their army gets fully in touch with the Bulgar forces I expect they will soon alter the direction of the push in that area.
Love to all at home from
Your affect son