THURSDAY, AUGUST 3rd

Only got back at 7.00 p.m. and then went on to dine with Shuter—very pleasant. Duke, new Bde. Maj., a nice fellow. A grand strafe on! Gen.’s visit resulted in Q Branch coming round to inquire what they could do. The Gen. came back, strafed them, and said we didn’t know Q Branch by sight! I said “Well, for two years you’ve been strafing us, now you are getting your own back!” R.E. [Royal Engineers] officers came this morning to ask what we wanted to make the officers comfortable—huts, chairs, tables, etc., to be put in hand at once. It’s delicious and a grand strafe; men fairly roused; the whole Staff boiling; and I will be horribly disliked, but it’s the order. Each Battalion is to send one officer and two other ranks home for a fortnight on a recruiting tour. I fear they won’t do much good. Shall send a representative from Lurgan, Portadown, and Monaghan, giving preference to those who went over the parapet and who have not yet been on leave. Same story, the fighting officers and men living in squalor, no one behind caring a damn as long as they are comfortable themselves. Am writing outside where we have all our meals. Have got a Whitlow [infection] on my left hand, first finger, why I can’t think. Am staying in this p.m. as am waiting on paper from the Bde. They are eight miles away. They’ve muddled the recommendations; it should have been five per Battalion instead of five per Bde., and I am trying to extract them so as to settle whom I should send in. They sent in yesterday to cadge a mess Sergt. and cook. I said “Haven’t got either—let them live at the safe.” Stuffy.

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