Was round the Trenches this a.m., and now the Adjt. is out, and I am attending to messages. 3 Generals visited me yesterday, and one (W. Strong) today. He is most cheery and well. Our routine here is—Breakfast: 8.30. Then a walk round trenches, see men, see work being done, and what is wanted. It is a big job, as trenches are falling in, and some over ankles in liquid mud. Lunch: 1.00, then sit in the dug-out, receiving and answering messages. Stand to at 4.30 p.m. when I go round 1 Coy. Dinner: 7.30 p.m. Start on evening round 10.00 p.m., which lasts till midnight. Then morning stand to at 5.30 a.m. till 7.00 a.m., which one of us attends. In addition a ‘situation’ report has to be sent in at 4.00 a.m. Of course, numerous returns through the day, at stated hours. We are shelling them a good deal. They only answer with whizz-bangs, M.G. and rifle, and not very much of that. No casualties, so far, I’m thankful to say. A very comfy night. As I turned in (in clothes) at 12 midnight, after evening rounds, I didn’t attend morning ‘Stand To’ so lagged till 7.30 a.m.
The Regt. we succeeded here seem to be somewhat careless in sanitary matters. Weather fine, thank goodness! Men all keen and rather love it, and work well. Parties out last night, examining wire. Found it bad in many places, and go out tonight to mend. Have had to give up ‘Behr’ stockings. Effort of walking without corking too much. My snow shoes are doing well. You cannot imagine the mud and one comes in plastered and coated with mud, and no means of getting rid of it. Some men’s dugouts poor. The men have got into the life and work very quickly, and the officers also. 91 slabs of milk choc. came today, addressed to 10th R.I.F., 111th Brig., 37th Div.!! from Ulster Choc. League, Ballinahinch, which I distributed to the 2 Coys. in the Trenches. Lendrum is in charge of the M.G., as FitzGerald was left behind with 2 guns for training! One would think training in the trenches would be best! Quiet 24 hours, tho’ our guns strafed a bit today, and our M.G. were hard at work this p.m., and answered by the Huns, who also put about a dozen Whizz-Bangs (small Fd. [Field] Guns) over us this a.m.