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Date: September 23rd 1916
Henry Crozier Smith

Saturday 23rd September 1916

My own darling,

I forget when I wrote last. I have not had a chance the last few days as we have been on the move. Last time I wrote I told you I thought we were going to different trenches now I don't know in the least what we are going to do. Last Wednesday at 2 a.m. we were roused up and marched off to headquarters, about 4 to 5 miles away, to get our gun carriages. We got back to our farm a little before 6 and had breakfast and then marched off about 7:30, joined the rest of the battalion and started on our journey. We marched all day and in the evening reached a fairly big town where we dispersed and were billeted in various places. We had a big farm in the outskirts of the town and were quite comfortable in a cow stable, with lots of straw. I did not go out that night as we had had a long march, (the M.G.S. had about 10 mile more than the others getting the carriages.), a good deal of rain and bad roads part of the way, which meant a good deal of trouble with the carriages. Luckily we were allowed to load our packs on the gun carriages so that marching is fairly easy. We have one man at the handle behind the carriage guiding it and the rest pulling with ropes. Thursday we started about 7 and marched about 15 miles to a bigger town where we spent the night in some big barracks. Not so comfortable as a barn as we had only the hard floor to lie on. After supper I went out with Pope to see the town and sat in the park first, a beautiful place very nicely laid out and well wooded. After we were rested we strolled about town and inspected the big church, a beautiful old place as big as an average cathedral. There is another fine big church we saw in the distance but it has been shelled or bombed and was in ruins, all but the tower. Then we went and had some coffee and back to barracks. Before going in we went and saw the end of a cinema show at the church army hut, rather an amusing Charlie Chaplin film. Friday reveille at 5:30, fell in at 7 and marched to this place arriving here at 2:30. We are billeted here in barns with plenty of straw. The companies are in houses but I think a barn is better for in houses you only have bare floors to lie on. Taken all round it was quite an enjoyable march and interesting seeing so much of the country. We had as a rule excellent roads and lovely weather except for the first day. We had our traveling kitchens so always had a hot dinner. This is a tiny little village miles away from anywhere. Just an ancient looking church with a few farm houses and cottages. This is a great blackberry country and I have some great feeds. This afternoon we went out skirmishing for a bit. I don't know what we are going to do or where we are going. There are all sorts of rumours, the most persistent is that we are going to rest here for a week and then march for 5 days to the front!

I got letters from you, Herbert and Sarah at (sorry I can't say) on Thursday and a parcel from the Oriental Café on Wednesday morning for which many thanks. You might send me some socks if you have any ready. I wore holes in 3 pair on the march.

With best love to all at home and lots for Herbert and yourself, my darling,

Yours ever, H Crozier Smith

24th Thanks for parcel just received. Everything OK. HCS