1st January 1916
Arthur is very fed up – someone has taken his scarf – lovingly knitted by Dollie; but joy – he has four letters and parcels to thank her for – including some excellent muffins; Arthur is now in a dug-out of chalk about 30 feet down, writing this letter with the pad balanced on his knees; they hope to be relieved in a couple of days.
Arthur to Dollie
4.30pm Saturday, New Year’s Day.
… I must have fallen asleep last night, dear, and left the letter unfinished. Anyway, dear there is little or no more actual news save that we are to be relieved in about a couple of days time DV. Sammy came back in to-day for a bit. We were very glad to see him.
I’m feeling very fed up. Someone has taken that great big scarf you had worked for me. It was a great comfort & my pride. No-one else had anything like it.
They have a habit of bringing up 48 hrs rations at a time, which means a mail only once every two days, in & out. However I mean to get this letter off to-day dear one, & have sent the Post Corporal to bring up those that have arrived.
Any now, dear, I’ve been saving it up to the end. I’ve four of your dear letters to thank you for. They came all together. I’m sorry, little one, that the frame hadn’t the right ribbon. I asked Daisy to tell the G&S Coy to get it – evidently they misunderstood. I’ve such a heap to thank you for that I scarcely know where to begin. First, four parcels (& some excellent! muffins) – the letters – the motto – the ribbon … But most of all I prize your dear photo: I showed it to Sammy & he showed me one of his wife, that he carries in a case almost exactly the same in his left-hand pocket (like me).
Tell the others I’ll write as soon as I get the chance. I am now in a dug-out of chalk about 30 feet down, writing on my knee…