Shill. returned to 9th today. Pratt and Padre both looked in to tea yesterday. My experience here for the last six weeks proves to me that the 9th are easily the best Battalion in the Brigade, which is satisfactory. They have had fewer changes, and Fergie, of course, is a tower of strength in accuracy and reliability, and young Shill. Is an apt pupil. Herdman, of Downs, is now doing Staff Captain, a very pleasant capable fellow, and hard working. He and Duke are both most delightful fellows to work with. Poor ‘C’ Company have had a hard time lately. In a fortnight they have lost their Coy. commander, killed; next platoon commander, Sleator, hospital with conjunctivitis, and I fear, won’t return; Coy. Sergt-Major gone home for a commission; Coy. Q.M.S. [Quartermaster Sergeant] promoted Regt. Q.M.S.—fearful blows to a Coy. Conditions in the front line are bad. Our Bn. H.Q. is quite good and has been strengthened with an elephant. Brigade have had no letters or papers since last Friday. Another foggy, damp day.

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