12 Charleville Circus
March 12th 1916
My dear Mother
I was glad to hear you were able to go outdoors a little while the other day. I wondered whether it had been warm enough any day. We have had it quite cold up till today but the sun came through about half past ten this morning and it was quite sunny and warmer until the latter part of the afternoon. The wind seems to have gone back to a cold quarter again this evening. There was quite a heavy fall of snow again early last week, but it has now all disappeared except where it was heaped up.
The news about Norah is very sad. I feel very sorry for poor Aunt Edith. It is a good thing that it is now possible for Ethel to leave home and go and help them at Trouville.
I saw a letter a few days ago from one of the Civil Service Rifles from which it appears the whole brigade is on the move. He spoke of being in a town which had not hitherto been occupied by British soldiers, and of having a march of 35 kilometres before them the next day. He did not give any names or mention in what direction they were moving, but I should say the line is being extended further south. It would not be unlikely if the French require us to occupy a rather longer line, in order to concentrate more men in the Verdun district. The Germans seem to be pretty well held there, and have evidently lost a tremendous lot of men to very little purpose.
I have not heard anything from the recruiting authorities. If they have communicated with the Board of Inland Revenue I shall doubtless hear in a few days. In any case the Board would not let me go on the eve of the busy season. Although we are working hard from 9 to 6 Saturdays excepted this is not regarded as the busy season! We have got some men from other branches coming tomorrow to work two hours a day overtime for us. Some of them used to be in the claims branch or have assisted before.
It was my free Saturday yesterday. An office friend of mine named Tufft and I spent the afternoon at the Ambassadors Theatre, where one of the many “revues” is being performed. It was quite amusing. I met Kathleen and Betty for tea afterwards and found they had been to see “Peg o’ my Heart”.
I was very pleased at the way Balfour dressed down Winston the other day. The latter would have done better to have remained in France and held his tongue.
With love to all I remain
Your affectionate son
John D Sladden