Cakes and potted meat, etc., are very welcome whilst we are sitting tight. Am trying to rig up recreation room for the men, but it’s very hard to get a place at all. Weather fine for last week but has broken again, and is raining now. I asked Halahan to write to you re sending out games—draughts, dominoes, etc., for the men. Mitts will, of course, soon wear out, and they and socks will be always welcome. Shirts are easy to obtain so don’t send them. French bread is good, but we only get the brownish variety, not the white. The ration bread is not enough for these men, who still buy much bread. Bales of papers will be excellent. I am starting recreation rooms in each of the villages with the Padre’s help. ‘Times’ broadsheets are excellent. Yes, send some. The King asked for McCalmont, so he could hardly refuse. I heard this morning that we are getting Gen. Powell’s cup for the best shooting Battalion, and it is to go to FitzGerald at Lurgan, very sensibly. I asked him to have an order published about it. I find men had an issue of gloves about four months ago, and they are now all worn out! Fergie says more can be got from Ordnance. He thinks notepaper and indelible pencils are badly wanted.
The 10th (Reserve) Battalion, Princess Victoria’s (Royal Irish Fusiliers) had been formed at Brownlow House in Lurgan in the summer of 1915 and formally established in September 1915. It was charged with providing trained reinforcements to the 9th (Service) Battalion in France and Flanders. In January 1916 it moved to Newtownards as part of 15th Reserve Brigade, and then to Armagh in August 1917. In April it and the 4th (Extra Reserve) Brigade were absorbed by the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion at Rugely in Staffordshire. It was commanded from its formation until it was absorbed by the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion by Lieutenant Colonel W C FitzGerald, for which he was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire.