Dearest Home People
Its a long way to Tipperary and it is a longer time since I heard from you. Probably the mail has been held up some place as a parcel sent me by Luell for Xmas only arrived today - almost three weeks after her letter.
Since writing you last we have put in a tour in the trenches, one in billets and are now back in the line again. My Company and George Holmans went into line first & other two stayed in support. About ½ hour after getting in an awful rum jar came over and killed four and wounded 3. When we woke up I took half the company out and changed over each day. About the third day we were in Fritz bombarded us intensely from 7 am to 3 pm. but all our casualties were slight flesh wounds. Two days latter he repeated the dose. It was frightful, horrible war alright and took some of the men by surprise so that they did not have time to get shelter. Fortunately there were very few men in the line so that our casualties were much fewer than the fierceness of the bombardment would seem to have warranted. After it was all over you could hardly find a trace of the original trenches except in the forward positions. Fortunately we were relieved that afternoon for the Company could have stood another but their nerve was all gone. In spite of that they would have held on if necessary because they have the best sample of British Bull Dogity I have ever seen.
This time the other two companies are in front and we are in support. We have the lordliest dug outs ever built or occupied by British Soldiers. I have one room 15 x 25 and a big plate glass mirror in it. Mr Thornhill assists me in occupying it. Our messroom & Office is rather constricted but as it is watertight and has a stove we should worry. On the other side of this is another Dugout to accommodate 6 more officers. And then a kitchen & then another D.O. for servents & Runners. In fact a complete suite of rooms with(out) the bath and we are so comfortable that we do not want to move. There goes our overhead Machine Gun.
It is very quite just now 12.10 AM A Slight moon tries to shine through a heavy mist. And the rain has stopped but the drip makes a cheerful sound as the charcoal burns. Maurice Thornhill should wake up & relieve me but I'll write two more letters then waken him.
With all my love