31st July 1916
Arthur is concerned for Dollie as she has had some sort of misunderstanding with Reverend Mother at the Eastbourne Convent, nor is he altogether keen on Dollie buying her wedding ring until he is home; Arthur meanwhile has been hard at it again, training in the blazing heat; late afternoon they have a lecture on Napoleon by the local interpreter “It was very interesting & inspiring. He spoke as if ‘le petit Corporal’ was alive to-day and had shuddered to hear the Hun so near his beloved Paris in August 1914…”
Arthur to Dollie
… Your letter of Friday came to me to-day: oh, my dear, I only wish I could be with you and help you. I can understand so well. Don’t be angry with Rev Mother. If I understand right, she doesn’t quite understand. As far as she does understand, she is doing what she thinks right … So I am longing for to-morrow’s letter; things may have righted themselves by then.
Darling mine, about your wedding ring. I am not very keen on your getting it till I get back – but if it is necessary, it must be. What do you think? Would it be a good idea to ask your friend at Elkington’s & if necessary have one ordered so as to be ready at the time when I come home? …
To-day has been another day of blazing heat. We have been on the go from 8 till a quarter to five. We walked out about 3 miles to a farm – did a scheme then had a sandwich lunch. Then a scheme ‘cross country home, got back at 3.45 just in time for a lecture on Napoleon by the local interpreter. It was very interesting & inspiring. He spoke as if “le petit Corporal” was alive to-day and had shuddered to hear the Hun so near his beloved Paris in August 1914 & how he was longing to hear the tramp of our victorious armies past the Invalides coming home after the war. So to tea. I was ringing wet with perspiration, so came back here to my billet and changed.
To-morrow is the first of August: lucky month that saw your dear birth – may it be a happy one for you, dear. You must tell me what you would like for a birthday present. Well, little lover, I hope D.V. that by the time you get this, things will have settled down. I am eager for to-morrow – more news from you…