March 9th, 1915
Sometimes we are in Belgium and sometimes we are in France, but most of the time we don't know where we are, or else we are in the trenches. Don't be surprised at the small amount of information that 1 write because it is essential. There is no need to worry about me, I am absolutely safe. We've been in the trenches now a couple of weeks and when I looked in the glass this morning 1 couldn't tell whether the glass was made of mud or not. But I had a bath about two hours ago and feel fine now. Had to have the water changed about six times during the operation. I bet you cannot realize how a bath feels after two or three months soldiering.
I got a letter from Reg to-day. We just came out of the trenches last night for a three days rest and we are at present in a good sized deserted town battered to pieces by shells. I would like to send you some souvenirs from home but they would never get through. At present we are in a house that has all the furniture in including beds and, piano so we are not so bad off. Coal in the bin, a good stove, everything here except former inhabitants and God knows where they are. The Germans still shell the town. About 100 shells came in yesterday but we ate them in the morning for breakfast.
The cats, dogs, chickens, pigeons still stay around the deserted towns and cities, so the result is a few delicacies sometimes. Well I thought it was quite a change to talk in shillings and pence but now cemtimes, francs and centaeos etc., is some class. I might say we are quite used to being under fire now but you know those Germans can only hit a man when they have a bayonet stuck through him and they never get that close. There is a church right back of our house and I was in it to-day, about fifty shells have passed through the roof and a fellow could sweep up a couple of bushels of shrapnell bullets on the floor. The place is filled with statues, etc.