4th December 1915
Wet and windy weather limits Company activity; Arthur is asked by the CO to draws plans for the new outpost, to be located south of their current location; football for the men and training for the junior officers; the new Divisional leave allocation is “fearfully stingy”; Dollie is organising miniature portraits of Arthur and herself – Arthur thinks a metal frame would be more durable than a leather one.
Arthur to Dollie
Billets, Saturday even 7.40pm
… I’ve heaps of letters to answer, and a heap of things I feel I want to say, my darling, for you’re not very fit … I hate the thought of you being dull or suffering in the slightest little bit… I wonder if you’ve had anything to disagree with you, or whether its just “sympathy” because I wasn’t well…
Let me give you my news, dear, now, such as it is before I answer the rest of your letters. To-day has been a day of wind & rain & we have been confined to kit and rifle inspections. I went over to COs orders at 9 this morning. He told me that on Monday there was to be a staff tour a few miles S. of here, to put out an outpost position: – 3 Officers and four NCOs per Company. So that most of to-day I have spent drawing a map.
This afternoon I asked off the CO for the men to play football. So No2 Coy played No1 & beat them 4-3. I went down with Lloyd & Rice & Herepath (another of my Subs – quite a decent young chap) to watch. To-morrow Wilcox & Rice go away for a week doing Divisional Schools, one on bombs the other on the Lewis machine gun.
That, little one, is all the news I think . Oh, there’s leave. The new lot are fearfully stingy as regard our leave though we’ve been here twice as long as they have. However they finally agreed to lend us leave vacancies for 2 officers & 6 men a week (though each of their battalions is sending 20 a week!) Accordingly Lloyd & Brown – the Quartermaster – & 6 men were to have gone to-night. But there’s been some trouble & the warrants aren’t through. So they’ll have to wait till next week!
Everyone was very impressed by our marching the other day! Fearful buck. To-night the ASC Follies are “on” in Allouagne (about 3 miles away). Wilcox & Rice have gone but I felt lazy & it’s a brute of a night – so here I am. Thanks awfully, dear, for the reminder about the Mater’s feast. You are a darling. I was awfully sorry to hear of her chill. I hope she’s all right again now. I was very upset, dear, to hear about poor Tom. Poor chap – I could hardly believe it. Please tell his Mother & Chris, if you see them, that I’m awfully sorry.
Darling, about the miniature case – don’t you think a metal case would be safer than a leather one? …I got the parcel to-day with the boots & refills. About the other things don’t send them until I write, dear, please. I shall be very careful of course & pro tem have packed it away amongst my things, addressed to you….