16th March 1916
Arthur writes to say that their new Army Chaplain went to Cambridge with brother Tancred and knew family friends the Stricklands; a veiled request for some Haddock – as opposed to kippers!; “They didn’t believe me” on the gramophone last night leaves poor Arthur in a homesick mood; a frolick in the daffodils and snowdrops with fellow officers.
Arthur to Dollie:
Billets, France, Thurs. even. 5.20pm
Two more dear letters of yours arrived to-day – Sunday’s & Monday’s. So now I’ve four to answer. God bless you, darling: I just love to hear from you and all about you… As you will know by now, dear, I’ve sent you a letter for Fr McNamara for your approval. Write & tell me what you think. Our new padre, whose name is Prevost, is an awfully decent chap. He knew Tancred at Cambridge & the Stricklands (who are friends of the family)…
Many thanks, dear, for your offer to see about my tobacco and kippers! I have plenty of the former – many thanks, dear. As for the latter, I’m personally not awful keen on a kipper. But on the subject of fish – an occasional haddock has reached us rather successfully…
The CO is ever so much better & rode with us on Tuesday. If the weather only keeps mild, he won’t be troubled again. The weather was glorious up to about 10 this morning, when it rather clouded over.
Last night we borrowed the gramophone & so didn’t turn in till about ten. It made me awfully homesick to hear “They didn’t believe me”. Do you remember the night when we went to the Gaiety?
To-day I’ve had a pretty slack day. We were up early for our run at 7.15. It was a glorious morning. After brekker my Coy was on fatigue work, so I spent the morning going through my papers. This afternoon the mail came, joy of joys! Then I strolled out with Lloyd for ¾ of an hour. Yesterday afternoon I rode out with Sonny Ainsworth. We galloped most of the way. Ben, my horse, do you remember him? is an awful fast brute.
After tea Lloyd, Ainsworth & I went out through the orchards, picked a lot of wild daffodil & snowdrops & frolicked about like a lot of kids trying to turn head over heels! The flowers are in front of me as I write. They are ripping – so fresh and young…This is a ripping out of the way sort of place – all trees & orchards & little farms dotted about: you’d love it dear. The house we are in is not a bad place. We have 3 rooms to sleep in among six of us (3 beds but no sheets or bed-clothes. The owners have left & the place is looked after by a refugee woman from Arras), Lloyd & I in one room, the Padre & Thomas in another, Davis & Davidson in the third…