MONDAY, MAY 29th

I am going over to see some operations of the 109th Bde. about seven miles from here, and shall be back late. Pratt returned yesterday with Bob Maxwell. They managed to get a car at Amiens, so got off the worst of the railway journey. P in immense form, full of stories. Lovely summer day, threatens to be very warm. P saw Powell at the ‘Rag’ and had a talk with Frank Hall, who is doing intelligence at the W.O. Spy Department. P brought a ‘Westminster’ of Saturday evening, so we are well up to date. The French seem all right at Verdun.

3.00 p.m.— Got back after an interesting morning. Very hot, looks like thunder. I believe we leave here at 11.00 a.m. We visited Varennes on our way back, and the billets seem comfy and good. The 11th Skins, who are there, say it is most restful. Hessey is home on leave and poor Leitrim home sick. I met Shuter, such a fine fellow, and had a long chat with him. He was kind enough to say he had heard on all sides the 9th were splendid. We hope to play 1st Battalion at football next Saturday. Also arranging for Follies and cinema show to pay us a visit. Shuter told me Willie Strong had been promoted Corps C.R.A. Saw Fergie, a bright bird, quite chirpy over the move, though he hates shifting from his present quarters. We have made about £50 in the canteen which we have run here. Quite good.

9.30 p.m.—Late this p.m. order came cancelling our move back, and we stay on here; I think only a few days. Cannot quite understand why. I suppose some inscrutable decree of the Round Table! Fergie had begun to shift his stores; rather a nuisance, and upsetting, but à la guerre comme à la guerre. Up to this the Huns have left this place alone, thank goodness, during this sojourn here, but the working parties were irksome, and we were all looking forward to peace behind. However, it’s only postponed, I believe. Evening turned out wet after a great heat during the day. Wonder what Lloyd George will be able to do? Exclusion of six counties seems to be the best basis. He is a great persuader, and negotiations may succeed, but I’m not sanguine. A man called Simpson has succeeded Wheatley—a great Artillerist. I haven’t met him. Was an Instructor of Gunnery at home for some years. Keep socks till you have collected 500 pairs—will be best, as you have sent off one lot, which will do grandly to go on with.

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