15th August 1916
Arthur is privately annoyed with Dollie’s brother Edouard and friend – they overstayed their welcome yesterday and his precious letter writing time was curtailed; he was unable to make up the time later as more work came his way and a dinner invitation from the Brigade Major to meet the new Brigadier meant he didn’t retire until past eleven o’clock. Today has been just as busy, as Arthur fulfils his role as Company Commander with all his characteristic attention to detail and genuine concern for the men under him.
Arthur to Dollie
I was annoyed when Edouard & Johnnie came in yesterday. They stayed talking for ages. I then piloted them across to our Mess room; found some more work to fix up for this morning, and a note from Blewitt the Brigade Major asking me in to dinner.
So I had a wash & went there – there were just the usual Brigade Staff. The new Brigadier, whose name I think is Freeth (I had hardly seen him before) Blewitt, Tidbury the staff Captain, Crosthwaite who used to be in the 1st, Barber the Bde Signalling Officer & Col. Inkpen who is in command of one of the Battalions.
I didn’t get to bed till a quarter past eleven. This morning I rode into S- to draw some money. I paid a visit to HQ on my way back, & found them all cheery. I saw Bert Pearce. He asked after you, darling & said that he had heard we were getting married (isn’t it ripping! the marriage I mean!) Ben, my old horse, is in great form. As soon as I got in I paid out the Company: then had lunch. Since then I’ve had a myriad of small things that like flies hav’n’t left me quiet for quarter of an hour.
Since I began this letter I’ve had the Serj. Major, the QM Serjeant, a private, my servant & a subaltern all after me for something or another. Such is life! The trouble is that as a company commander, one is father & mother to one’s men as well as their officer…