8th August 1916
Arthur recounts a detailed row about the (re)appointment of the Battalion Adjutant – as the current one has apparently made “ rather a mess of things”. Dollie’s brother Edouard has sprained his ankle – but can still get his army boots on! Now Dollie’s recent letters have caught up with Arthur since leaving the Army School, there are several important things to arrange for the wedding – rings and brooches to be bought and the invitation to be finalised: “I wish I could give you some idea of a date, little one, but its pretty nearly impossible, until leave opens & then it is fairly simple to calculate approximately…” A big surprise for Arthur in that his sister Marie [Denaro] is prepared to brave the perilous journey from Malta to attend his wedding.
Arthur to Dollie
Thanks awfully for your dear letter of Thursday. I say, what a surprise Marie [Denaro] coming over. I thought she said she didn’t intend to this year! There is no news yet of leave, darling: a certain amount is being granted, but only to those who have never had it yet, i.e. the men who came from the old 2 / 3 rd.
Yesterday Johnnie Sutcliffe came along and we walked up here about 6. It appears that there’s been rather a row. As far as I can gather when the CO went to the Divisional School, he asked for Sutcliffe; and as the latter wasn’t feeling very fit, the Division let him have him; although really of course Johnnie is Gazetted Adj. to the Battalion. Anyway while Johnnie is away, Bobbie Page is acting Adjutant. He makes rather a mess of things & Sammy goes to the Brigade & asks for Johnnie back without speaking to the CO. The result is that the CO suddenly gets a wire telling him to return Johnnie to the Battalion. Fearful sickness as a result between Sammy & the CO. I don’t know how it will end.
Lloyd & Brady have gone to the Army School. A fellow named Johnson of D Coy has been given the Military Cross for sitting tight in the Z Hedge (an unhealthy spot) on the 1st. I’ve heaps of new subalterns, Bateman, who has just gone to Trench Mortars, Fordred who is going to the RFC & Cahill who only joined yesterday. Bobbie Page is going to Rochford (“C” Coy) as second in command.
The weather D.G. is still glorious dear & the line, so far, pretty quiet. There is any amount of work to be done as usual. At present my Coy is in support. Edouard [Noel] has sprained his ankle; but can apparently still wear a boot. Sammy is very keen on his job & is doing well.
All sorts of letters have just turned up – Tuesdays (sent on from the school), Fridays & Saturdays … heaps of things to answer, eh, dear? First of all, about the ring … Now that Mr Taylor has written, don’t you think it a good idea to speak to him about it, & see what he says. About a brooch for Elsie, darling, what did you think ? … About Edgar’s ring, shall I tell him to go & choose one or will you ask Mr Taylor to send some on approval. Perhaps the latter is best, don’t you agree, dear.
About invitations, I am sure your idea is far and away the best. I wish I could give you some idea of a date, little one, but its pretty nearly impossible, until leave opens & then it is fairly simple to calculate approximately… Well, little lover, the time will not be very long now – it can never come too soon…