12.30 p.m. Another dry day and not too cold. ‘At.’ brought me your letter. He was very beaming and full of chat. I saw Sgt. Johnston, and thanked him for going to see you. I hear five more officers are coming. We don’t move tomorrow, I hear. Can’t think what the delay means. Anyway I don’t complain. Yes, it was advanced somewhat suddenly. No-one is allowed to take letters home, under penalty of losing their leave. So one couldn’t ask anyone to do so. All leave is stopped.

Second Lieutenant Harold Lyness

Second Lieutenant Harold Lyness

3.00 p.m. Three officers have turned up from 10th Battalion, I think. Seem ordinary. Of course, they are not much use, and we don’t take them with us, as we are limited to 20. Preserved ration began today. A new C.S.M. has come from 10th Battalion, one Livingston, who was a Sergeant in 2nd Battalion; has 12 years’ service, and looks a smart fellow. Am much relieved. The other three officers I saw this a.m. They arrived about 11.00 p.m. Nothing startling either way. One was appointed in T.F. [Territorial Force] Black Watch, Lyness by name. Locke and Craig are the other two. The men had a very long night of it—left at 6.00 p.m., got back 6.00 a.m.—a 10 mile march and some heavy carrying to do, but they worked splendidly. It’s now trying to rain. Morland tells me we brought down two Hun ‘planes yesterday evening, and there was much activity in the air. Rather a quiet night as the men are mostly sleeping and resting. They wanted to send some of them again tonight, but I fought it and got off. The fine weather still continues, and the whole camp dried up, and the roads deep in dust, but it turns very cold in the evenings. Charlie came round to our camp about 6.00 p.m. Didn’t get much news from him. Young Cramsie returned from leave today. It’s not fair that these young bottle washers on Bde. Staffs, should absorb so much of the leave ration to the exclusion of older men who are having the hardships of trench life. To make matters worse Menaul had to do C.’s work whilst he was away, in addition to his (M.’s) own work, and I found Chas. sending him all over the country on his work. However, I told M. not to do anything of that sort without reference to me.

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