Thanks most awfully for the lovely parcel of things you sent; it came a day or two ago and I’m afraid the contents have nearly all gone now! They were much appreciated in the mess and were most welcome. Also today came a torch refil & 2 lovely silk handkerchiefs, just what I wanted; thanks most awfully for them. Also an Easter card which came today.
Talking of Easter, the Bishop of London was round here yesterday & held a service in a huge field. He stood up in an old wagon & before he began he said he had a message for us all from the English people, who sent their love and wished us all the best of luck. Then he said he had another message which was the thanks of the English people for winning the battle at Neuve Chapelle; rather sweet of him was’nt it.
A good many officers were introduced to him, I among them, & he told us all to let him know at once if he knew any of our people, otherwise when he got back he would be taken severely to task by various mothers & sisters & wives for not meeting their sons & brothers & husbands! I couldn’t remember if you knew him or not, so didn’t risk it. We had a hymn or two & a friendly discourse from the bishop, looking very soldierly in Khaki, & then dispersed. I thought you might be interested to hear all this; the padres out here are all working at top pressure now, especially round about Easter.
The lovely weather has broken up now & today is wet & cold. I hope to get a little leave about the 8th or 9th just a day or two, but please don’t count on it as I have not got it yet by any means, though at present there seems nothing to stop it.
They have now done what we have all been fearing they would do, they have amalgamated the 2 Battalions of the 39th into one Battalion; so for the last 4 days since the amalgamation began I have been as busy as possible, & am still frightfully so. You see the 1st Batt; had so many officers knocked out in the last show that it was practically a new regiment as regards officers; & we both had a good many casualties among the men, so I suppose they thought the best thing to do was to make one Battalion out of the remnants. I have been made adjutant, merely by seniority, as I happen to be senior to Guy Mainwairing who was adjutant of the 1st Batt, & who also is wounded; so it’s a case of circumstances, “Greatness (if it is such!) thrust upon me”!
I’m afraid I’ve been awful slack writing lately, and answering everyone’s letters, but really I have’nt had a moment to spare. I should like a good long rest: a little leave would do me no end of good I think.
I wonder when Jim will get his commission; I can’t think why they won’t give him one. I think I must pay a personal visit to the War Office if I come home & try & ginger things up a bit. I thought they were only too keen to get fellers to take commissions.
I see a huge panorama of N.C. in one of the papers, really quite good, only it looks as if it was going on in the middle of the night, they’ve made it so dark.
I have got heaps of cigarettes now, so shan’t want any more just yet. Glad to hear my uniform rolled up; if I come home I shall get some new thinner stuff, sort of Burberry, for the summer, as I think we’ve fairly pushed winter, real winter, anyhow, behind us. It will be cold at times, but warm on the whole, & one can’t carry a change of clothes to suit all weathers in a 35 lb kit!
Must end up now. Will let you know if I get my leave & perhaps someone will meet me at Victoria.
Best love to all your loving son