My last letter to you was written on or before the 25th of October and I think just the day before we got orders and went into the front line unexpectedly. We came out again during the night before last ie. the night of 3-4th altogether over eight days in the open. Gee it was cold and miserable. Mud and slush over everything and in everything, my boots got so wet and soggy that the upper pulled away from the sole and mud came in through. I almost had trench feet. After we had been in for 96 hours we came out to a support line of trenches for 72 hours then back in to relieve for another day.
Did I tell you that I had been appointed to Command of A Company and am now working had signing reports and ind[?]. Mr Scrinton was made second in command and is giving me great assistance. although he did not go up to the trenches with us. Ethels supposition as to where we are is all wrong. I may some day soon be able to tell her where it is but not now. We have had some experiences. It has been hard trying work and all are now almost exhausted physically and mentally. The mud was something we westerners should have been used to but in the trenches it seemed a thousand times worse. Every time you put your foot down it was all that one could do to pull it out. and through it all rain and cold up almost all night and day, no dug outs only holes in the front wall of the trench just big enough to leave your feet out in the trench and freeze. In spite of it all I got rid of a cold but caught one when I got back to billets yesterday. and have been working incessantly since. There really were no special incidents to speak of. All this talk about the Germans being all in is "Boch" He seems to have all sorts of artillery & ammunition left and he uses it. His aeroplanes are in many cases better than ours and seem to be able to move faster. I have seen three Ally planes brought down and almost before the touch earth his artillery open fire on it. While we were in the front line we saw him banging away at a plane behind our line. The shells let all around it but by some miracle he could not seem to hit it just right. Oh if I could only describe all the minor little affairs and narrow escapes I have had so as to make you see it just as it happens. I have been knocked over by the concussion of shells bursting close by and shrapnel has burst so near that the pellets have swept by me like hail but by Gods good mercy I have stood in the open and been untouched. In fact I have so many things to thank Him for that I shall never cease praising Him. In the trenches our fate is so full of the miserable damp & cold that we all need the small lot of rum daily. In fact it is to this usually evil thing that I ascribe the ability of the men to go through what they have to date. One morning I had to call on the O.C. Â½ mile away before breakfast & fainted while talking to him. He has been unusually kind since.
Well Dearest People love me a little and do not expect too much from me for a while in the way of letters.