Very many thanks for your letter this morning, & the handkerchief, which was most acceptable as I have a beastly cold and cough, & use a hanky pretty frequently- We go out into the trenches tonight for 3 days. We are having a terrier Colonel to stay with us, to learn all about trenches, it will be rather fun showing him round everywhere.
Righto about the cigarettes sorry to worry, but I thought it was best to find out about it & see if anything had gone wrong. As a matter of fact Abdulla sent us each a little tin of 25 as a present today, very sporting was’nt it. The ones you sent have’nt rolled up yet, but will tomorrow I expect. Sketch & Bystander also not come, but will doubtless come tomorrow & will be most welcome in the trenches.
Not much going on here, fairly quiet in our immediate front, though we can hear all the La Bassée fighting going on close by, continual firing day & night almost. I had a letter from Paul 2 or 3 days ago saying he was hovering round that last fight. Your letter is dated 6th, Saturday & has arrived today 8th, so it’s quite quick.
I hear Jim & Topher are going for commissions; quite the best thing to do I should think as they seem to be using their corps as an officers training corps & nothing else. Why does’nt Jim shove in for a job as motor cycle despatch rider, they have heaps of them, flying about all the roads every day & all day: suggest it to him, I don’t suppose it’s hard to get.
Quite a fine day today & not quite so cold, though windy. Must end up now. Excuse a short note, will write longer in a day or two. Love to all, yr loving son
Drake-Brockman says “On the 8th February we again relieved the 1st Battalion in the front line… the same stretch of trenches along the Rue du Bois was taken over”. This would seem to be the first trenches they were in at Calonne-sur-la-Lys though the regimental diaries would give more detail.