11 Sept 1917
My dear Father
The date was all the progress I managed to make yesterday with this letter. I hope I shall be luckier this evening, for your letter has been standing unanswered for some while. You had, but recently, when you wrote, completed the family relay holiday at Birdlip, though you spoke of the possibility of Ethel and Juliet going over there for a weekend. I gather that the rain did not treat you above badly; if you had our ration you would have been thoroughly wetted several times. All the places that you mention are unvisited by me except Birdlip and Cirencester. So I must not claim to know the Cotswolds too well: for Fairford, Burford, Painswick and Chedworth form rather a stiff list of omissions.
Hard on the heels of the Prime Minister’s expectation of a revival of Russian effectiveness comes this most disastrous news of dissention between their two leaders. Is any fair outcome possible! Korniloff seems to have lost faith in patience. Kerensky fears above all things the thin end of the wedge of counter revolution; as even the most honest of dictatorships would prove to be at present. Does it matter which of them succeeds? I don’t think it does (from our – the allies – point of view) provided one of them succeeds quickly. Perhaps a dictatorship is the only firm foothold between chaos and democratic order. And whether it be Kerensky at the head or Korniloff I believe that in the end – and that end not far removed – either of them would have to exert uncontrolled power before there can be any shape in the affairs of an undivided Russia.
For the alternative – anarchy followed by partition under German auspices. A separate peace for Finland, Northern Russia and Muscovy; and that or conquest for the Cossacks. A cheerful prospect.
Better leave the subject and turn to something more comfortable. Have the plums been fully dealt with? I was glad to hear that gale damage was not too severe.
I saw the list of Mesopotamian decorations and noted with regret that Boo got nothing. The Lieut- Colonels seemed to monopolise the regimental decorations.
Rosie is now at Eastbourne – went last Saturday I believe, though I have not yet had a letter through. If it is as fine there as here she will be having a right royal time.
Love to all from