Do hope you are having this nice weather. Today another sunny warm one. We had 500 men out digging a new trench last night, from 7.00 p.m. till 1.00 a.m. It was a lovely night, and they left us alone. 29th Div. does not come here. We are 32, 36, and 49 [Divisions]. Sir George Richardson has sent the shamrock to all the Battalions. The roads are drying up splendidly and the trenches also, I’m thankful to say. Padre back again and in grand form.
A concert on St. Patrick’s Day. We all had a late breakfast after our night out; men as well. They love a lie in bed, which they seldom get. Never can see why they should be routed up at dawn, when there’s nothing to be done and they are resting. We’ve just had an interesting lecture on gas and tear shells. The latter in addition to blinding you for ½ an hour, makes you vomit freely! The gas kills five miles, and you can smell it 12 miles behind. Am sending Pratt into the line for the first three days, with young Shill to do Adjt, to train him as understudy to Cather. Shall visit them daily, but sleep at E_____ [Englebelmer]. Another working party tonight of 50 men, under Brew. The Huns have been more active the past week. They gave the 10th Inniskillings a rare bombardment from all sorts of guns, for 1½ hours, and the Battalion behaved extremely well, and were complimented in a special order of the day, by Nugent. The R.A. Brig. Gen. commanding the heavies of X Corps is here. I went to see him today—one Vincent, about two years senior to me, R.G.A. [Royal Garrison Artillery] I didn’t know him. Curly Birch is the Army Artillery adviser, and a Maj. Gen. Tomorrow we play ‘Young Cits’, [14th Royal Irish Rifles] and a concert in the evening. It’s very pleasant hearing all the nice things but they are far too flattering. We had a gas lecture today from a man who had been to Verdun, very interesting. He says casualties he believed about equal both sides, and of course colossal. Redmond’s shamrock not yet materialised.