April 28th 1916
Today is Arthur’s birthday; Dollie’s Easter Sunday letter has finally arrived and he is amused to hear that the Pater made such a fuss of Dollie in her new outfit; the weather is glorious and Arthur wishes with all his heart that he could be sharing it with Dollie; the course the men have been on will soon be over and they rejoin the regiment tomorrow; news from brother Dickie – now recovered from frostbite at Suvla Bay [Gallipoli] and newly arrived in France.
Arthur to Dollie
France, Friday 5pm.
This morning Jeffreys brought in your letter of Easter Sunday. You Darling – in your “new coat & skirt, & hat & boots”: no wonder the Pater made a fuss of you …
The mails are very bad: with luck I should have Wednesday’s letters to-day. Yet I have only Sunday’s. Let’s hope they’ll improve again soon. Last night after I had written to you, I wandered out for a bit on to the hillslopes & turned back through the Chateau garden. I turned in pretty early after dinner.
To-day has been another glorious day of sun. The country is beginning to change. The roads are dusty: the crops ankle-high, the woods almost more green than brown – a wonderful fresh, living green, that gleams in the sun, and gladdens the eye. The fields and banks are full of flowers, cowslips & violets – the marshy land down here by the river a mass of King cups. I only wish darling of my heart that we might be together to enjoy it all… It’s so strange to think of to-day being my birthday. I’m one more ahead of you dear – till August!
We have been a longer time on parade to-day, dear, than usual: for the men have been put through their tests. To-morrow we rejoin the regiment; I shall be sorry in a way; for it has almost been a rest cure down here. The work has been awfully interesting; & parades starting at 9.30 instead of 7 have given one longer in bed!
I had a short note to-day from Dick dated the 24th. He had evidently arrived at Marseilles & was in high feather at being in France. I wonder if they’ll send them along to us. That, little one, is all my news. I am anxious for later news of you, dear. It seems such ages since Sunday. I wonder what you’re doing to-day…