East African Expeditionary Force
29th December 1916
I duly received your letter dated 1st November which seemed to have come fairly quickly. I got the camera all right & last Xmas parcel some time in the spring. I thought I had written you at the time about them. You forgot to send the slides with the camera & it is no use without them. I have no pc photos here. We are now pretty far south in G.E.A. it seems to us nothing but rain here. The rainy season lasts for about six months from Nov until May and for one dry day you get three wet ones. The roads are nearly always impassable for any form of transport except porters & even they get stuck up occasionally. You get long stretches of black cotton soil which when it is dry gets quite hard & is quite good going but when it is wet it is just like a peat bog. They have tried pack mules, donkeys & porters but the problem still remains unsolved, and it looks as if we would have to sit down & wait till the dry season comes along. There are a lot of West African Troops in the country now & they do not seem to relish the climate. There is more rain here in a week than there was during the whole wet season in B.E.A. last spring. The natives say that it is only the small rain we are getting just now. I don’t know what the big rains will be like if that is the case. I wish the Germans would run out of ammunition but they don’t seem to be short just yet. I suppose things at home will be going on in the same old way with a bit more to pay for everything. It was not very like Xmas out here. If the rubber shares have not been sold I think I will stick to them for a bit yet if they are paying a decent dividend. Have you had any Zeppelins the length of Roberton? I expect they will try to get at Gretna.
I have lost my fountain pen so have had to write this in pencil.