7th March 1916
The Company boxing tournament organised by Arthur was a great success: “ Though the boxing wasn’t very wonderful, it made up in energy what it lacked in skill”; a celebratory dinner of sorts with fellow officers Lloyd & Rice; a long chat with Dollie’s brother Edouard – commiserating about the censored letter received at home. Arthur sends Dollie some primroses presented to him by a “tiny tot of a girl” at the roadside.
Arthur to Dollie
Billets, Shrove Tues: 6.20pm
…There was no mail again to-day; so I must wait patiently to hear from you to-morrow. I am always yearning for your dear letters. For other news we are fairly well off as we can generally get the Continental edition of the Daily Mail in the village.
Last night at half-past five we had our boxing show. I enclose a programme; more as a curiosity than as a record of the boxing, for several men failed to turn up & so it had to be somewhat modified. Though the boxing wasn’t very wonderful, it made up in energy what it lacked in skill & was quite a success. We held it in a little hall near the station that had been, in more prosperous days, a café cinematograph. The place was packed & the show went off with great éclat. It was over by 8.
We dined out again last night, dear; it was a little dinner given by Lloyd & Rice to celebrate the anniversary of their landing in France. It does seem strange to reflect that a year ago we were moving into Lacouture preparatory to the assault.
Mention of Lloyd reminds me, dear, that he too has had a letter of his “censored” in the last few days. We were in early last night. This morning the usual early run from 7.15 to 7.30 and parade from 9 to 12. It was a glorious day: for it froze in the night; and the air was wonderfully clear. When the sun came up, it was almost warm & the larks sounded priceless. It’s rather a ripping country.
This afternoon Edouard came in. I had not seen him for a day or two, for he didn’t appear at the boxing last night. Evie too was laid up yesterday but is about again on parade to-day. Edouard stayed talking for about ¾ of an hour. He mentioned that he had heard of the censoring of my letter, bless his heart! He’s rather heavy & full of himself. I rather laughed for he was bursting with some news (as he thought) exclusive to himself concerning our future movements. His chagrin when he found I already knew it was comical. However.
After tea, dear, I paid out the Company and have just finished. I’m enclosing 3 primroses: a “souvenir” from a tiny tot of a girl by the roadside – rather sweet, eh? I’ve got a heap of letters to write – it’s perfectly awful. I must make a strenuous effort to try to clear some off. You know what a bad correspondent I am, don’t you, dear heart! …