9th East Surrey Batt
This morning we started off on our travels again at 8 o’clock after staying a day in a small French Village where one shop sold chocolate about a year old.
We marched off in full pack but leaving our haversacks and Valises behind for the transport to bring up and after about an hours journey we came up to the beginning of the Communications trenches.
I was attached to the Machine Gun Section and assisted to carry the drums of cartridges up endless trenches for about an hour until at last we arrived at our objective in a drizzling rain.
We are about 1000 yards from the firing line here and are in quite comfortable billets considering the proximity of the enemy – 4 of us are in a sort of corrugated iron shed with no furniture but a floor to sleep on – which is quite good enough for me – I have bought a fleece lining and I have a blanket in a waterproof bundle somewhere on the transport which has not come up yet.
Two are going to sleep on a shelf one underneath and I am going to sleep in a corner.
The rain is rather trying as it causes mud to be carried everywhere – but I have got my books to read when off duty and they keep me happy.
The guns are going all the time here, but the line is quiet at present (I hope this is not a military secret I have given away).
The officers have mess in a Dugout next to our own hut and I think they have quite good food.
Unfortunately I did not have time to lay in a stock of chocolate etc so must make shift with what I can pick up – I believe we are in reserve for 8 days then 8 days in the line and then 8 days outs – and so on so if you don’t get a letter for a long period you will know I am somewhere where I cannot write.
Please excuse bad writing, as I am doing so under difficulties.
I cannot get anything here so if you could send me some chocolate or any kind of sweets I shall be very glad – I have not got any letters from you or Mother yet – but as I have been travelling incessantly they probably have not had time to reach me. If you address me “Second Lieut RC Sherriff 9th East Surrey 24th Division” I think they ought to arrive safely.
It is a pity I can’t tell you where I am as it would be interesting for you to look up where I am on the map – but I will tell you when I come back “after the war”
I don’t think there is much to do hear as the men are only in reserve – but we are not supposed to ever take our boots off or clothes as we may be liable to an alarm at any time in the night.
I want to write to Mother now so I will stop your letter and hope that you will get it some day or other – as the transport is rather uncertain.
From your loving Son,