56th Field Coy R.E.
13th Dec 1915
My dear Barbara
I have at last received one letter from you addressed to the General Base Depot, written on the 8th and I was very cheered to get it; I also received one from my mother on the same day. Oh! my dear I don’t want you to spend one penny in sending me things; I know you have a hard job to make ends meet & that is one of the worst things I have to bear. If everything was right in that way, I should be quite happy; however we’ll see whether things can be improved once I come home on leave. I think three months in the trenches is as much as can be expected from a man of my age & with my responsibilities, and I shall do my best to get something more suitable. As regards the promotion I am inclined to think it was mere “gas”, whether on the part of the High Authorities or somebody else, I am not sure. In any case it does not matter, and if it does not come I shall be obliged to seek relief, as I have spent more out of my own pocket to get home & join than they pay me in the whole year. However I do not grumble, but I should be happier if I had work to do in which my age and experience would be useful instead of this routine done equally well by boys of 20, in fact I have two seniors of 20; isn’t it absurd; youths whom I should be “fathering” out there. Well enough of that.
Tomorrow I go with my section to the dug-out (bomb proof? shelter) about two miles behind the firing line and we work nightly in the firing line trenches; I stay there seven days and then return to the camp here. We have had four of our men killed this week, three one day and one the next by shells coming plump on top of their dug-outs,(the officer had just left). We buried the poor fellows by night, it was terrible.
I then went on to the front trenches with the officer (who had escaped) as his nerve was a bit shaken & spent a couple of hours there (about midnight) and the sniping was pretty bad. It was all interesting however.
We have had a lot of shelling round us and the O.C. & I just missed a field by about 50 yards when 6 or 7 huge krupps came down. My word I felt shaky for a bit.
Well goodbye dear old girl much love to you & the dear babes; kiss them for me.
I enclose the cheque
Your loving husband