8 Feb 1918
My dear Father
Tonight is my night off duty and therefore a night for correspondence. Our ration journey up to the line is a very long one at present, starting early and coming back about midnight; so the days when I am on convoy duty don’t allow any chance of writing letters.
You wrote last shortly after a severe snowstorm followed by the usual flooding of the brook. We got none of the snow worth mentioning, but our weather also broke about that time. Since then it has again been wonderfully fine for a spell, but yesterday the rain descended and the floods came and now I think we are going to pay the bill for the unusually fine January we have had.
Mr Craig is going on special leave for one month tomorrow; granted for long service in the field. If it had not been for his leave coming now I should have been expecting mine in about a week or a fortnight. But they are not sending any officer to take his place, so I am afraid I shall be put off until he returns.
Thank you for your good wishes also for the book you sent me for my birthday. Notoriously little is said about any of our floating Forces and least of all about the mercantile marine. This book deserves to be read by a large number of people.
I have sometimes wondered what would have been Uncle George’s activity in this war if he had been alive and – say, about fifty or fifty five. I think there is little doubt he would have wanted to go Hun strafing in some capacity, for he always loathed “Dutchmen”, submarine chasing would have given him pleasure I think. Have you any recent news of Aunt Lottie? Also of Bernard; how did he fare when he went for medical examination again?
I forget whether you told anybody at home that Rosie is still with Machin & Kingsley after all. When it came to the point they ‘parted up’ adequately, if unwillingly. Rosie said it nearly broke their hearts. I think they are pretty close fisted. Rosie is glad to remain with them for she has grown quite attached to the office. And she is able to stay with her great friend Miss Wilson who entered under the firm at the same time as herself and was staying with them for a while in any case.
The German strikes appear to have been a very short spasm on this occasion. The Russian regime will always be able to apply very strong repressive measures. But they remove the trouble while increasing the tendency. If the great Western offensive fails with heavy losses there will be a far sterner outbreak afterwards. I wonder when the great attack will come. It is an anxious time while waiting the event.
Please thank the girls for their parcels which arrived in excellent condition. I will write to one or both of them shortly.
Love to all from