19th June 1916
Poor Arthur is still struggling with a toothache; he is pleased about his “mention” and says it is all for her [Dollie’s] sake; the Company are still hard at work even back in rest billets but Arthur managed to get to Confession and Communion yesterday; a description of a “ripping” dogfight over their working party in which the Hun came off worst.
Arthur to Dollie
Billets, Mon . even: 7.50pm
… You must forgive me for not having written yesterday dear: I was pretty busy all day, & hoped to write after dinner. But the CO wanted me to go through some papers & my tooth began to hurt me again. So I turned in.
Thanks awfully, darling, of my heart, for your dear letters. Thursday’s came yesterday, Friday’s today. I’m so sorry to hear you’ve a cold, sweet heart; do take all care of yourself, won’t you … I, too, am pleased about my “Mention”: I feel it is all for you. I don’t seek honours for my own sake: but I’m happy if they come, for yours. All I seek to do is my job: that I want to do with all my heart as best I can.
My tooth is an awful nuisance; it keeps on aching like – after I eat anything. I rode into M- this morning; but the dentist only turns up there on Thursdays. So I’m going to ride into D- to-morrow and try my luck at a Clearing Station. Davis is coming in with me. It is nothing, dear, so don’t worry. I think a little bit of an old stopping has fallen out.
I went to Confession & Communion yesterday morning. We are hard at work on working parties, even back here. We expected to move up again to-day, but our movements just now are very vague. However, I expect we’ll move in in a day or two. Edouard moved half-way up yesterday with his Coy & some of “C” Coy. They also are working. Evie came back yesterday, dear, he looks very fit & very cheery.
The bombproof waistcoat turned up a few days ago – thanks very much darling. Everyone out here is awfully cheery – the Hun is “up against it” & knows it. Yesterday we saw a ripping fight in the air. About 9 Hun planes came over, reconnoitring. On their way back, some of our planes went for them. They cut one off. Then one of ours climbed up above him. As soon as he was over him he nose-dived almost on top of the Hun. The latter dived too but couldn’t escape. Flames burst out from him & he fell. Our fellows brought down another too.
This evening the CO has gone into dinner at D- with Sammy. The weather to-day has been very dull & rather cold. Yesterday was glorious & very fine…