4th November 1916
After a decent night’s sleep and breakfast at the hotel, Arthur and his fellow officers have a morning to see the delights of Rouen, as they are not wanted until 2pm. He writes to Dollie asking if more wedding presents have arrived, and then touches on the romantic subject of updating her Will. Arthur doesn’t anticipate reaching the regiment for another day or two.
Arthur to Dollie
At the Base, 10.23am
… Good-morning dear, God bless you. I wrote to you lat night how we came up river as far as here, & how we were told to report at the RTO’s office at half past 9 this morning. I turned in after I had written & slept soundly till half-past 7: but oh, darling, I missed you awfully. It was the first night that I had spent in civilisation away from you since the 21st … [After breakfast] we walked over the river to the station & were told to report again at 2. So we strolled back into the town past the church of St Ouen. Then we turned to our left into the Rue Jeanne d’Arc. Here we found Cox’s: so I drew some money. Then we crossed the road to the British Officers Club, where I am now.
The weather, dear, is glorious – if we could only enjoy it together. I am impatient to get to the regiment, for I cannot hear from you until I do…. By the way, have any more presents arrived? Have you started to answer folk for them yet? Poor little wife, I’m afraid it’s a huge task. Will you send me a list of names addresses & presents & let me endeavour to answer some from here?
I don’t know, dear, if you received a letter of mine asking Nannie to send on my things as soon as possible. If not, I wish you would ask her, will you, dear, please.
Remember me to the dear Mater & to all at No3. Have you been to de Fontblanque yet with your Mater about your will? You had better put the copies in our strong box as we suggested.
I’ll try & write again as soon as I can – but I don’t expect to be able to until I get up to the regiment, perhaps for two days – so you won’t worry over much will you, little lover. After I’ve written this I am going back to the hotel to gather in my things: then we’ll have lunch & go on to the station…