6th November 1916 – Riez Bailleul Camp
Another two days of travel for Arthur but now he is finally back with the Battalion, in a familiar place. Brother Alfred is away at Army School so Arthur is once again in charge of B Company: “At last I’ve arrived and found the Battalion out in reserve. The weather is fiercely wet, & the country correspondingly muddy. It is perfectly extraordinary being up here again – its just a year since we left here & its hardly changed a bit”.
Arthur to Dollie
At rest, 4pm
… At last I’ve arrived and found the Battalion out in reserve. The weather is fiercely wet, & the country correspondingly muddy. It is perfectly extraordinary being up here again – its just a year since we left here & its hardly changed a bit.
That’s all by the way – what really cheered me up soon after I came was a mail with three dear letters from you. God bless you, my darling, I was so happy to hear from you … I found the prayer-book after all in my pack. It was right at the bottom. I’m afraid I caused you a lot of unnecessary trouble looking for it, didn’t I dear.
Let me give you my news, shall I darling since last I wrote. We went over to the station at Rouen again about 2 & finally got settled down. We left soon after three. This was Saturday. We were four in our carriage: myself, Tresauna – the doctor of the 8th Middlesex, who crossed with me to England, Beit – the Sapper & a padre. Before we started we laid in a stock of provender, & at various stops on our way, we replenished it so that we weren’t hard off for food.
We journeyed all Saturday all that night & next day until about 6pm when we reaches B-e. Here we detrained and put up at the railway hotel. This morning we were up at 5.45 & came on by light railway to La G (La Gorgue). I had got in touch with the Brigade by telephone at B- (probably Bethune) & again at L-G- so that we didn’t have to wait long for some transport to bring us on here. I found the Battalion out. All say the trenches are very quiet & comfortable & that the Boche is not all active – Bon!
The CO is very fit. Edouard much the same as ever. Alphonse (brother Alfred) away at the Army School. He sent me a postcard to-day – Minshall very spry. They had all seen our photo in the paper! I stayed at HQ a little time, dear, then came on here to B Coy, of which I am taking charge at any rate while Alfred is away. By the way, Rochford is back – but I hav’n’t seen him yet. Leave is scarce – as yet only 2 allotments to the Battalion per week. Jones leaves to-day.
I’m pretty busy, as you may expect, darling, there are a lot of loose threads to be picked up. By the way, my tunic from Wests was here, but no breeches after all. Would you ring them up, darling, please, and try to discover what they’ve done. Do you remember, dear, I didn’t care for the pair they had made, so that they were going to make me another pair…
A – Riez Bailleul
B – Neuve-Chapelle
Blue – British front line Red – German front line
War Diary 1st-8th November