2nd November 1916 – 5:20pm

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2nd November 1916 – 5.20pm

Having reported to the docks mid afternoon, and managed meanwhile to telephone Dollie, Arthur is now back at the South Western Hotel. There is still some doubt that they will sail tonight: “One boat in fact was nearly 30 miles out before it was recalled”. It’s all a dreadful muddle and Arthur doubts he will be able to send any more messages once he returns to the docks this evening.

Arthur to Dollie

South Western Hotel, Southampton, 5.20pm

Still the uncertainty as to whether we cross to-night or not. We are to report again at 6.45 as I have just phoned you. If we go I’ll try to get news to you, but I’m afraid you mustn’t count on it… There are a few men about – military dockhands – but all are strictly forbidden to take telegrams or post letters – so that it is very difficult to persuade them to do so. However, darling, I’ll try – and you may know this that if we don’t go, I shall most certainly wire or phone you…

If you don’t hear, you’ll know that I’m on board on my way across. I do hate all this muddling about though I suppose we ought not to complain really, for we have been lucky. But every moment with you dear, is such a heaven of delight that one loathes the thought of losing one.

I am very fit D.G., since tea here, I’ve been reading chiefly to pass the time. I wonder what you are doing, darling; keep an eye on the dear Mater. The weather is still a bit unsettled. I wonder what they are going to do with us to-night.

Don’t worry if we do go, darling mine: they won’t let us cross unless they are quite assured of the safety of it. One boat in fact was nearly 30 miles out before it was recalled. Keep a stout heart, little pal & pray hard, as I know you do, as I do for us both too. Remember me to all. God bless you dear….