17 April 1917
My dear Father
Last year at this date I recollect forsaking my billet in order to sleep in the open because of the extreme warmth and the settled weather. It continued like that for many days – even for weeks. This year is very different. A fair amount of sunshine it is true; but there is always a gale of wind with it. And when the wind drops, in goes the sun and down comes the rain. I am not surprised that it is the latest season you can remember. Here there is not the smallest sign of any growth. Hedgerows are entirely black; the buds on the trees don’t show at all and there is no push in the grass. If it were not that the hens are in full lay (how they know it is spring I can’t guess) there would be nothing to tell a farmer that winter was past.
I received your postcard about Boo some days past and I was naturally and dully pleased with the good news. I hardly expected his rank to be other than acting, but I hope he may keep it for as long as possible. The higher the rank the less the hard graft and the less the danger. Also the increased pay is attractive especially as Boo is scheming matrimony as soon as possible. But I am afraid the India scheme has many difficulties in the way.
The news from the front is really about as good as it can possibly be. We were in that district for quite a long period once and I know the positions well. It is a very wonderful feat to have carried them at all. To have done it swiftly and with small losses is almost incredible. Nothing but enormous artillery power could have made it possible. At present there seems no very evident sign of the existence of the much advertised German reserves. If they were plentiful as has been claimed, there would surely have been quicker counter attacks and formidable ones.
Arthur sent on the enclosed letter from Cyril which I return with thanks. Please tell Kathleen that I received her parcel about a week ago and that I will write and thank her very soon.
Love to all from
Your affectionate son