August 20th, 1917
I am on the night duty, from 9 to 9 in the office and must take advantage of the opportunity, and send you a few lines. Received your letter of July 29 night before last. Don't know that I have a great deal of news. Things go along in the same old groove with little to break the monotony. Of course every day sees new experiences and new adventures the like of which would in civilian life be looked upon as something big, but which in this life one comes to look upon as a matter of course and pay little attention to.
There is one item of news, however that I must mention. Lawson has got his commission. He applied for it about eight months ago and it came through I think on the 12th. A long wait but better late than never. He has been a hard worker and deserves his promotion and being a level-headed, conscientious sort of chap he makes a splendid officer and fortunately he is staying right with the battery.
Well Mother we have made a regular home of our dugouts now. We signallers are all in three cellars under one big building and have places which are practically shell proof. Naturally there is a good deal of rivalry between the different dugouts as to which shall be the best and we are all as well equipped as possible. Every few days two or three of us start off rummaging among the old buildings and we have a whole set of dishes, a nice table, a cupboard and chairs not to mention lots of other little conveniences. Each day one man takes his turn on orderly and draws and serves the meals, washes the dishes, sweeps out the dugout etc. Each pay day we put from half to two thirds of our pay into our mess fund and in this way get a good deal of extras from the canteen. In addition to this we got a new cook lately who is quite an improvement on the previous one so we do not fare badly at all.
You asked about the shirts and underwear that Clemmie sent. Yes I got them all okay but never received the parcel Aunt Maggie sent nor the one that you spoke of Clemmie having sent. Your registered letters came all OK. I wrote thanking you for them some time ago.
Have not heard from Heber nor Laura lately. Last word I had Heber was still in England. I suppose you saw Whidden's letter in which he acknowledged that our tug-of-war team had beaten them and also won the army championship. I suppose we ought to be thankful for small mercies and for once in his life he admits they have been beaten. Perhaps by the time he has been out here for a few months and found out what war is he will wise up. It is quite plain from his letters that as yet he has not seen war at all when he is always talking about civvies and the green trees, etc. No doubt they are a good battery. They certainly have some good men but they want to do something before they start blowing
and when they have done something worthwhile they won't want to blow about it.
Now I must ring of. All the boys are well. I am fine. Love to all, Harold