12th October 1916

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12th October 1916 – Montonvillers

“I am most awfully excited at the prospect of leave next week. The new CO went over to the Brigade to-day. When he came back he said “you’re going on leave to-morrow”. We’ve got an allotment for to-morrow & another in a weeks time. So I explained & we’re sending Minshull to-morrow & I’m coming next week D.V. I’m in such a whirl of eagerness & so bitterly afraid that something may turn up to disappoint us, that I sha’n’t feel satisfied till we are in the carriage together after the BIG SHOW – our show”.

Arthur to Dollie

Thurs.,            5.30pm

… I am most awfully excited at the prospect of leave next week. The new CO went over to the Brigade to-day. When he came back he said “you’re going on leave to-morrow”. We’ve got an allotment for to-morrow & another in a weeks time. So I explained & we’re sending Minshull to-morrow & I’m coming next week D.V.

Edouard came back to-day: this means I return to Company work. Only as Minshull goes to-morrow I am going to do the Adjutants work. Edouard still fusses around. I don’t think the Division have much use for him and apparently he will not be with us for very long. Don’t tell anyone this for of course it is all in the air.

I’ve rather a beast of a cold – the result of living in a house again! But I hope to shake it off soon. I’ve been pretty busy again to-day – our casualties were about 485 and 70 sick, not including officers – so you may imagine what a job it is to get things going again. We only started 520 strong – of course we have had drafts – but the loss is still pretty stiff. This is for the past 5 weeks.

Well, little one, I’m afraid I’ve just jumbled out my news anyhow: but I’m in such a whirl of eagerness & so bitterly afraid that something may turn up to disappoint us, that I sha’n’t feel satisfied till we are in the carriage together after the BIG SHOW – our show. God bless you, my darling little sweetheart.

Last night I turned in early & this morning we had breakfast at 9. I’ve been pretty busy ever since – except for half-an-hour or so this afternoon when Minshull & I went out for a canter. The country is quite pretty and, darling, its such a treat to get back out of the continuous noise & danger, mud and desolation, to hear birds & see leaves & things that grow – to a place where things exist. Up there nothing lives long on either side. There are thousands whose one aim is to blot out of existence anything that lives, nature as well as man.

My darling, I’m afraid I cannot say the actual day I shall arrive. If it comes a week to-morrow (the allotment), I expect I should be home about the 20th or 21st. God bless you…

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