9th May 1916
Arthur apologises to Dollie for not having written sooner; they are now safely back in billets after a “quiet” spell in the trenches; his Company is now back up to full strength with re-enforcements from the 2/3rd Londons, which means Arthur still has no time to catch up with his correspondence; the weather is awful and tomorrow they begin some important night work.
Arthur to Dollie
In billets, Tues. 9.19pm
… It seems ages since I’ve had an opportunity of really writing to you. I had looked forward to this afternoon to a long letter – but the CO had a job for us and night has come upon me, dear, before I have been able to write.
So to-night, little one, I’m just going to thank you for a whole weeksful (sic) of dear letters, Saturday to Sunday last & just to give you my news roughly. To-morrow afternoon DG I shall be able to write at greater length…
We went up on Thursday [4th], moving from our old place on Wednesday. We came out yesterday afternoon late. Our bit of line is pretty fairly quiet DG. The Hun lines are in most places 500-700 yards away. But I’ll tell you more about them to-morrow dear.
Now we are in billets in a little village a few miles back, fairly comfortable. We shall be here about a week. An enormous draft have arrived – my Company is now up to strength – for the first time in its existence. Two more officers also are up – of which I have one – Bernheim of the 2 / 3rd.
The weather has been rotten to-day dear – just pouring with rain. This morning we were on parade. I went & drew company pay. This afternoon we rode over to see some reserve trenches, then a pow-wow with the CO & tea – after that more work. To-morrow we are on parade all the morning; in the evening we are on a working party. But DV I shall have the afternoon free to devote to you – little sweetheart.
You’ll have to act as my ambassador, won’t you, dear: & apologise to your dear Mater and all for not having answered. I shall on the first chance I get. Its not forgetfulness. But most of my men are new and it was a new bit of line so I only had 3 or 4 hours to myself in the 24…