1st May 1916

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1st May 1916

Arthur, recently back from a 10 day course with some of the men, is now extremely busy preparing his Company for a move up to the trenches; he expects to be “up” for the next 6 days and tomorrow he will be away on a reconnoitre, and they march out on Wednesday; the news from brother Dickie is that the 2/3s will remain at Rouen for now, and supply them with reinforcements when required; brother Joe has been helping Dollie with obtaining a passport; fervent hopes that the next 6 months will fly by.

Arthur to Dollie

France, 10.5pm

Night has crept on me again. Once more I have been so rushed that I scarcely know where to look round. The trouble is that for the next 3 days things will be as bad or worse. I think that you can guess, now, can’t you, dearest – we shall be “up” once more, just an ordinary relief, probably for about 6 days. To-day I’ve been fearfully busy, doing a lot of preliminary work. To-morrow I shall be up all day reconnoitring. Wednesday we march & so in.

So you see, little one, that my time will not be my own at all. Thanks a heap, dear, for your letters of Friday & Saturday: both of which turned up safe & sound. The story is that Gilbert Reeves has a job at Rouen – Dick writes: a far as I can make out, they will remain at the base and furnish us with drafts as we want them.

This morning, dear, we were up at 5: on parade at 6.45 for a route march until a quarter past ten. It has been a glorious day, but this evening the weather has broken & it is raining. I’ve been busy all day, pow-wow-ing & making organisation for our move, so I’m just awfully weary. You can imagine, darling mine.

I managed to get a letter off to Joe, to thank him for all that he has done about your passport &c. We had the birthday cake to-day it was top-hole. You are a generous dear. God bless your sweet heart. Keep a brave heart, dear. Please God, I shall be home on leave by the beginning of June & the time is just going to fly the next six months!