Very many thanks for your letter of 22, which I got yesterday. Yes rather I got the cake all right, with a tin of sweets & 2 little packets of chocolate inside & it was very much appreciated. I can’t help thinking the cake before must have been stolen, as I think one is missing. So glad Jim is getting his commission soon, I think it’s better on the whole; what about Topher? Has he managed anything yet?
About those waders; thanks awfully for suggesting them, & I should love a pair. But I’m afraid it’s a bit late in the day now, and conditions in most of the trenches have much improved, though they are by no means dry. But I fancy now, between you & me, we shan’t be doing much more trench work, so I don’t think it would be worthwhile sending them; I wish we could have had them before Christmas, but I don’t think they were invented then.
We are being relieved tomorrow & go back for a short rest. We’ve done 6 weeks in reserve & trenches & have been hard at it more or less ever since I came out from leave, so I think we deserve a bit of a rest don’t you. But I don’t fancy it will be for long.
Awfully cold up here for now, much colder than it has been before I think, but we all have lots of warm things, and the men have more than they can do with, so we are all right. My fur line scutum is a great success & keeps me rippingly dry & warm. We’ve had a little snow, but it has all gone now, & it freezes every night.
Sorry Ruth has been seedy & I trust she is better. My cold is much better, but has’nt quite gone yet, but I’m feeling as fit as a fiddle. I’m afraid there is’nt much news- We get shelled every day in the village here where we are in reserve, which is trying, to say the least of it; we do our turn in the trenches & all the usual things, & nothing very exciting has happened. Lots of love to all
yr loving son
Drake-Brockman’s narration of where they were is a little confused at the end of February. It seems that they “occupied some houses behind [the line] in the Rue de l’Epinette as reserve for three days” but it’s not clear either which three days, probably the 25th to the 28th, or indeed which Rue de L’Epinette, I have assumed it’s the one near Festubert.