TUESDAY, DECEMBER 28th

Well, the General (Div.) came and everything was colour de rose. He praised us for the condition and turn out of the Transport, which was very good, the condition of the billets and sanitary arrangements, and was staggered at Fergie’s laundry and bath houses. At the end he said to me “Everything is most satisfactory, and very little eye-wash, I think. I was not so formidable, was I?” showing my words at R­­­­­_____ [Ribeaucourt] had gone home and borne fruit. Of course we are all greatly bucked up, and Fergie and Stronge and the company commanders deserve the greatest credit for the show. Luckily it was a lovely day, and everything looked well in consequence. We have a new recreation room now, a large empty barn, plenty of tables and forms, four acetylene lamps, and warmed with braziers; filled with games and newspapers. The roads even were scraped clean and every place labeled. We have now been ordered to start a canteen. The Lurgan people have sent to each Lurgan man in the Battalion a parcel, labeled with his name and containing 1 shirt, 2 pairs socks, 1 pair drawers, 1 vest, matches, cigarettes, candles, 15 large cases! The men don’t what to do with the things. Don’t send any more things, except handkerchiefs, till I write you. I’m sure it would be wise to get up a fund for any contingency that might arise, viz:—Veg. [vegitables] As time goes on we are bound to find we want something urgently. The men have now ample warm clothing of all sorts. The General is anxious to pool all our fund for widows and orphans. Absolutely wrong; not what the money was given for, and totally inadequate for any such purpose. I shall strenuously oppose it tooth and nail. All it would do would be to provide a salary for the Secretary.

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