Friday (27 July 1917)

Practice wearing gas masks, hideous and stinking things they are.  I should think the main thing in a gas attack would be to keep your head.  Rumour (Latrinalia) that we will be here for months, but it goes hand in hand with an assertion that we go to Mesopotamia!  Raining hard but the chaps can’t resist the temptation to go out and blow their pay.  R. has gone out to buy a flute, an instrument he plays from ear.  I am quite interested in him.  Though he is only 21 and has been brought up on a farm he has a teacher’s certificate.  He is a peculiar-looking chap with a high pointed head and very curved features, almost jewish.  Loves hard work, yet a dreamer.

Tell O’Meara that I have smoked his pipe every day since he gave it to me and it is still going strong, but not too strong.

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