Mar 28 1916
My dear old Elsie
A few lines to tell you I am safe and sound and fairly well. I cant remember when I wrote last and there is really very little news to tell you for we are not allowed to say very much about the latest happenings in this country. I wonder what the home papers have told you. Thank goodness I came through the last fighting Mar 8 to 10 safely and since then we have been doing a spell in the trenches – it is a most depressing work and there is no rest for the poor adjutant. Now we are under canvas about 4000 yards behind the firing line and it is a real treat to get a shave and a wash and to take ones boots off. We are supposed to be resting but the whole force is busy preparing for the next great effort for Kut – it was a great disappointment to us that we did not get through on the 8th to 10th – it was a very near thing but it was necessary to get far away from the river and we were simply driven back from want of water and from fatigue. I am so sorry to say my mail has failed me again the last 3 weeks and I miss my letters ever so much but yesterday the parcel you so kindly sent of soap toothpaste tobacco and sweets arrived it came just at the right moment – thank you so much dear – you would have been amused to see me with a bucket of water and my piece of coal tar soap which is the envy of the officers mess – I feel cleaner now than I have for ages and for the time being I believe Ive got rid of most of the fleas and horrid things that have been biting me up lately. Im longing to get some home news again for I’m always wondering what is happening.
It may be some time again before I get a chance of writing but I hope you wont worry about me – if we could only get to Kut I think they would give the Brigade a long rest and possibly send us back to India – we have done more than our share and we are all tired out. My poor old leg gets inflamed and some days I am very lame but I dont want to give up until Kut is relieved – every one of us is wanted for that job. No news yet of the Military Cross but Ive great hopes for a few days ago the boys at Basra Headquarters wired up for my full Christian names – youll also be pleased to hear that the General has recommended me for temporary promotion to Captain so Im hoping in a little while to have 3 stars – it will mean a good deal extra pay and altogether will be very nice – not a word of all this until things are settled! Well cheerio dear old thing – theres a good time coming – or at least I keep on hoping so.
Next letter Jun 10th 2016