Our Battalion moves back, closer to the fighting at the lines
We seem to have settled down again after the upheaval of merging. The 4th/5th now has four companies and I am in A company under Captain Cunningham – the luckiest officer in the battalion. I have been made up to full corporal. I am now paid 1s 8d per day – though it all goes home, unless I ask for some specifically. The officers have a kitty and will allow you so much, particularly if we are behind the lines. In the front trenches we get nothing. We have no need for it and the officers do not want us to lose it to the enemy. We are now part of the 118th Territorial Brigade, which is part of the newly arrived 39th Division. Our CO is General Bromielaw and we have english battalions from Cheshire, Hertfordshire and Cambridge as comrades. We have moved to Caudescure, a few miles north of Bethune in preparation to return back to the front line as a full strength battalion. I feel we are destined to defend the land around Neuve Chapelle and Festubert indefinitely.
I wrote to my father to tell him of my promotion. I know he will be proud to learn that both his sons are full NCOs. Capt Cunningham has already told me that my photography skills will be called upon at the front and I am eager to find out what is intended for me.
We are very close to some serious fighting. Just a few miles away at St Eloi, our lads repulsed three major bombing attacks and some mines exploded near out lines. At home our families are being bombed from Zeppelins flying over British soil killing our women and children! There is nothing the Kaiser will not do. I have seen in the Post a map of his intended conquests “when he defeats the British”. All of Europe shall be under his worked control and most of Africa. He seems to want the whole British Empire! The revelation only makes us more determined to defeat the scoundrel. We, our comrades from the colonies and our gallant French allies will never let this monstrous bully succeed.