6 May 1918
My dear Father
My writing has been so irregular in the last few months that I always forget at what point I left off. I feel pretty sure that I wrote to somebody at home not very long ago but I forgot where I was when I did it, and having moved much of late I don’t quite know where to take up the tale.
Anyway it doesn’t matter much. For I can’t properly tell you what we are doing. And if I do, you are most likely under a continual misapprehension – thinking we are in the line when we are really out; and out when we are in. Suffice it to say that Jerry has been quite amiable lately. But “Timeo Danaos …” which, when translated in modern terms, means, “Distrust Fritz when he pretends to have no artillery.”
Weather has mended a bit in the last two days. A welcome change - especially as we are in the open now. But it has been a cold, wet spring up to the present.
So Boo is still hoping for leave this summer. Hopeful beggar! I am afraid leave is a ‘has-been’ as regards this Front and a ‘never-was’ as regards the others and a ‘never-will-be’ for each and all. Unless that boasted Yankee army bucks up and transfers some of its vast numbers from paper to solid earth (or semi-liquid; as the case may be).
Sorry to hear that the local Worcester Battalion has lost in prisoners those Badsey men you mention. I have not been in touch with their Division for a long while; though I heard that they were divided from us by one division only a few months ago.
You asked if I had made up my kit. Yes, the AOD did all that right nobly. There is nothing I want now. In point of fact the AOD did not do it all through recognised channels. During the retreat we passed an Ordnance Depot that could not be got away. Men were allowed to go in as they passed and help themselves to what they wanted. I couldn’t leave my column; but I got a man to go in and get me a cap, of which I was very glad, for a shrapnel hat is very tiring for continual wear. Some of the men behind the wagons were able to help themselves to all sorts of things – khaki and underclothing, equipments etc. I doubt Fritz got much in the end though he was very close on our heels then. Similarly, one of the Companies in our Battalion retreated past a large CF Canteen. They had no end of cigarettes and chocolate, and so on, out of it.
You asked about some money that has been given to Ethel for me out of a collection made in the village. I am pleased not to be left out of the reckoning, but of course I don’t want the money. Would you give it as a subscription to the local prisoners-of-war fund (I am sure there must be one). There are few better ways of spending money.
Rosie is getting on very happily in the flat. She gets most of the housekeeping work left to her; which she doesn’t object to, for it is useful practice.
Love to all from