21st April 1916

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21st April 1916: Good Friday

Dollie’s boot hunt has been successful; alas Arthur will have to wait a while to see them – there is no hope of Easter leave this year; a letter from brother Joe; a day of contrasts – this morning throwing live bombs – this afternoon a visit to church; Arthur wishes Dollie a very happy Easter.

Arthur to Dollie

France , Good Friday 3pm

I’ve got your dear letter of Wednesday. Thanks ever so much, dear. Your letters are the great event of the day: a day without news from you is awful dull. I am so glad to hear that you were able to get a pair of boots to fit you. Lucky boots to be home with you…

There is no further news about leave, dear; it will probably re-open in about a weeks time. I am on the list immediately after the boys. Some fellows had very bad luck – one train load actually arrived at Victoria and were sent back, without being allowed to get out!

I had a letter from Joe to-day, dear, in answer to the one I wrote him. He has written to Mr Neate, Oswald’s father-in-law, also to the Military Permit Office & to the T.F. Association. He has taken a great deal of trouble so I shall write to-day & thank him.

Last night we played Bridge. I was pretty successful D.G. We got to bed about half-past 10. This morning was gloriously fine – but now it has set in with a steady drizzle that I am afraid will continue.            We got up this morning at half-past eight, breakfast is at 9. We parade at half-past. This morning we were throwing live bombs – great sport. This afternoon I paid a visit to Church & voilà.

I’ve a pretty comfortable billet down here, dear. I share a room with Henri. The people are very kind-hearted, but rather ignorant of the uses of a flea-bag. Anyway, they will put it in between the sheets! So that we sleep in our flea-bags with the sheets outside. It is a comic idea, darling, but warm!

My thoughts are full of you, little one – the happy Easter we spent together. This year luck’s out and I shall not be home – but know, darling, that I am with you, closer and closer, every day that I live. God bless you – & help you & make you happy always. Remember me to your dear Mother & wish her a happy Easter.