[18 May 1917] men as they would be sitting being shelled the whole day & doing absolutely nothing – no good to anyone – which was asking for purely unnecessary casualties – quite apart from the great advantage of a complete rest for a few days with nothing to worry about.
Anyway fortune favoured us as we found some quite decent dugouts & shelters in a spot well behind the line where we are now established quiet & contented until the guns come back. I might have mentioned the battery split up into two – the Major having gone off with one half. I’m afraid it won’t be long till the guns come back! Anyway we’ve had one day’s real decent rest, and <I’ve had> a couple of civilized meals in a hotel again!!
The weather is still splendid except for one bad day & night – being the one luckily when we had a decent roof over our heads. Anyway we aren’t so bad, but I think you’ll not be surprised when I say I’d be ready to go through pretty heavy shell fire if I had or of two Staff officers with me just to show them what war really was.
Hanhart, Powell & myself remained with this part of the battery, now Powell has gone sick so Hanhart & I remain. We <are at> present in quite a nice cellar with a table & chairs which we wiped up – really most comfortable & luxurious. He is trying to draw me to send to his kiddy at home who is about 3 & the effort to remain still during the process perhaps partly accounts for the scram[b]liness of this letter.
We used at first to sleep in the shell hole. But later found a dugout which we got into – of course it was all right in the topping weather we’ve had. But I don’t think it would be very nice if the rain really seriously set in.