22nd March 1916
Arthur is asked to dinner with Dollie’s brother Evie – but declines the invitation as he is tired, and has no desire to go as “it savours of a ‘thick’ night”; more dull and damp weather, with the usual morning parades finished off by clearing ditches; football in the afternoon for the men – Arthur has organised the platoons into teams and “there is a great deal more enthusiasm & keenness than skill!”; Dollie’s tobacco pipes from Selfridges are a great success.
Arthur to Dollie
Billets, France, Wednes. even. 9.27pm
Thanks awfully for Sunday’s letter & Monday’s. I just love to get them …I am awfully glad to hear Saturday was a success – many congratulations, dear. I am pleased … I sent a note over to Evie as you asked. Do you remember, dear, a fellow named B. who joined the 3rd the same time that I did. He left after a little time. Had a car accident taking out his landlady & her daughter & the case was in the papers. He apparently rejoined the A.S.C. for the war & is now a Captain. Evie met him the other day & fixed up a dinner at the nearest town for to-night. He wanted me to go but it savours of a “thick” night & I was rather tired…
To-day has been very cold & damp & dull – rain most of the time & mist the remainder. However I’ve had a pretty profitable day: this morning the usual parade from 9-11: then we cleared ditches & generally tried to increase general cleanliness for an hour and a half. So to lunch.
This afternoon I went across the road to watch some football. I’ve got up a platoon competition in my Company. The men are very keen: indeed there is a great deal more enthusiasm & keenness than skill! My four platoons are numbered 5,6,7 & 8. 5 have played 6 & lost 2-3; 7 & 8 have played twice, each time a draw 3-3: 4-4! The winner of 7 & 8 to play 6. After tea I was kept pretty busy till dinner and so voila.
A lot more men go on leave to-day. Brown the Quartermaster gets his to-morrow & Lewis in a day or two. Did I ever tell you, dear, that the two pipes you bought me at Selfridges are the envy of the Battalion, especially of those who rather fancy themselves as connoisseurs as Edouard.
We are to do another route march to-morrow. I hope the weather clears a bit before. Well, darling of my heart, Goodnight & God bless you…