5th September 1916 – in Camp at Bois Des Tailles
No mails for 3 days or so, and Arthur has been marching and digging in the cold and wet all that time: “On Sunday we gave a demonstration before Joffre that involved about 18 miles marching”. For once Arthur has written only on one side of the paper: “… in case the Censor disagrees with anything I say – apparently the censoring has been fuller lately: the Doctor told me that four consecutive letters home of his had been opened”. They are currently under Canvas, under orders to move – destination unknown.
Arthur to Dollie
There have been no mails for 2 or 3 days for us & we’ve had a pretty busy time. On Friday morning we had a march of 9-10 miles and 2 hrs digging; again in the evening we practically repeated the performance – went out to the same place & were not back till 2 in the morning. Next day that’s Saturday we had to go there again for an open air lecture. On Sunday we gave a demonstration before Joffre that involved about 18 miles marching. We paraded about 7am & didn’t get back till 7.30pm. We only had a couple of sandwiches all day: so we did justice to a meal when we got in.
Orders were late on Sunday night: we only had them in after 10: and then found that parade next day was for 2.15 AM – that meant breakfast at a quarter past one in the morning. We then had a 7 mile march in the dark & rain – & finally a 10 mile march to finish up with. Our next meal was on our arrival in the evening. So you see darling, we’ve been pretty well on the go.
To add to the discomfort the weather has been beastly: very cold & wet. We are now under canvas but are under orders to move – but we don’t know our destination. However I’m writing, dear, in the hopes of a post getting through.
I’m only writing on one side of the page, dear, in case the Censor disagrees with anything I say – apparently the censoring has been fuller lately: the Doctor told me that four consecutive letters home of his had been opened.
I have your dear letter – that you wrote from Harrods – with Barbara’s enclosure. My darling, I wish that I could adequately thank you & tell you what a joy and a comfort it is to get your dear news.
Bois Des Tailles at ‘X’
A – Conteville
B – March to St Riquier
C – Train to Corbie
D – March to Bois Des Tailles