Dear Mother, can you please see about some cigarettes for me. Jim said he had fixed up a regular weekly or monthly supply, but since I came back from leave I have’nt had any at all!! except what other fellows did’nt want. Please don’t think I’m complaining, only I can’t help thinking there must be some mistake, as surely some ought to have rolled up by now. If Jim has’nt arranged anything, could you please arrange with De Reszke to send 200 a month as if you buy them by the 200 at a time you get them a bob a 100 cheaper or something. But you might find out first what’s happened to Jim’s show, as I certainly understood he had fixed up something.
We go back to the trenches tomorrow after 6 days in reserve here. At least we go up tomorrow to immediate reserve just behind the firing line, & then into the trenches – as it’s called! – after a day or so. As the trenches are all full of water, of course we can’t actually occupy them, but have a system of breastworks & piquets out in front. I fancy most of the stories about standing in water are yarns, though of course there has been a tremendous lot of fighting in knee- & waist-deep trenches, & no doubt a lot of troops have had to stand for hours, & sometimes days, in water. But as a rule men manage to keep fairly dry, though mud is always ankle deep.
The air is – here I was interrupted, and I’m sure I don’t know what the air is! or what I was going to say! I heard a rumour today from a chap who had heard it from someone else etc etc that the 20th Divnis close behind us here, but whether there is any truth in it or not I don’t know.
I’ve just had my hair cut & feel very prickly. Two enormous guns are firing just close here & the whole place shakes whenever they go off.
Could you send along a Bystander or Graphic or Illustrated London News occasionally? A picture paper is always welcome, Tatlers & Sketches, as they go the round & we hand ‘em on to Tommies when we’ve done, so a lot of people get enjoyment out of them.
Tons of love from Ted