6 Feb 1917
My dear Father
Although it is rather late I want to write you just a short letter. I was very sorry to hear from May that you had got quite a sharp touch of influenza; I hope it is much better by now. But you must take care of yourself for this weather is very searching. I hope to get better news of you soon.
I wonder if you have any recent news of Cyril. Steady progress of a methodical kind seems to be the way of things there. I take it that the meaning is a strong artillery superiority on our side. Those plodding tactics don’t pay unless supported by a very intense and overwhelming gunfire. I notice that on the Ancre we go forward with unfailing certainty by the same means.
I had a card from Arthur just before he left Mentone. Evidently his visit had braced him up well for he wrote very vigorously.
The recent events seem to be likely to turn this into a real World War, with China the only large territory unaffected. It puts Holland in a very awkward position, supposing that the blockade proves destructive in the early stages. I expect our efforts will be largely devoted to operations as near German ports as possible so as to catch the submarine when going in and out. It won’t be long before we know the best or the worst, as the case may be.
Thanks very much for sending me the “Nursery Rhymes of London Town”. They are delightfully daft. I think I commented on them when I first saw some of them in Punch; no doubt that is why you sent them.
With love and hopes that you will soon be well again.
Your affectionate son