31st March 1916
The Commander in chief rode past the village on Thursday – but Kitchener was not with him; in the afternoon the Officers went over to Rebreuviette, for a lecture on the Retreat from Mons; the Brigadier’s field day – with Arthur’s Company acting as the “enemy” was a success; tomorrow Arthur is to ride over to the Divisional School for a smoke demonstration, and the Battalion Sports are planned for the afternoon; Arthur is finding it hard to write this evening, as the loud conversation in the mess is distracting him.
Arthur to Dollie:
Billets. France, Friday even: 9.21pm
…Yesterday I had a ripping mail: three dear letters from you – Sunday’s, Monday’s & Tuesday’s. I was pleased for I hadn’t heard for a day or two before. I also had a very sympathetic letter from Rosa, & a short note from Rice, who is doing a machine gun course at GHQ.
… Let me give you my news dear. Yesterday we were on parade as usual. The Commander in Chief rode past during the morning. K. was not with him. In the afternoon we had a sports meeting, tea at 4. At a quarter to five we (the officers) congregated at HQ & went down to R[ebreuviette], down the hill to a lecture by the Brigadier on the retreat from Mons., the fight of the Marne & the subsequent advance on to Aisne (where he was wounded. He was then a Captain in the 1st KRR). The Lecture was awfully interesting.
After dinner I was very busy for this morning the Brigadier was to have a field day & my Company was the enemy – so there were a lot of preparations to make & I was very late to bed. This morning this show came off: it was rather fun.
To-morrow morning, dear, Johnnie & I are riding over to the Divisional School – about 8 miles away – to see a smoke demonstration. In the afternoon at half-past one the Battalion Sports are coming off. I hope it keeps fine. The last two days have been glorious. This evening I wandered into the woods &sat there alone …
I’ll send the letters (Laura’s & the Mater’s) & Rosa’s also as soon as I’ve answered them, dear. It has been awfully hard to write coherently, dear, for there’s been loud conversation in here all the evening & it is already ten…