23rd November 1916
Promotions are on Arthur’s mind – it seems brother Alfred [Agius] may be given command of the battalion, rather than Dollie’s brother Edouard – but nothing is certain yet. Conscientious as ever, a watch of Arthur’s is home with Dollie for repair – but it is still running slow and he is reluctant to use it: “… it is not worth it, if it cannot be relied on, especially out here when it might mean a question of men’s lives”. Thankfully the weather is fine whilst they are in the trenches and all is fairly quiet.
Arthur to Dollie
Thurs. even, 5pm
Your letter of Sunday came up last night. Thanks ever so much, dear …I am most awfully proud of my ring: it’s not too tight, dear: indeed, I don’t think I could wear it any looser especially out here … I love it for all it means.
I’ve written about Edouard, dear: I don’t know if he got the job; but it seems certain that Hull, the Divisional Commander, was determined he should not get command of the battalion or be in a position where the command might devolve upon him: & that from the time he rejoined us after the Somme, he was earmarked for some non-fighting job. I don’t really know about his leave – he will no longer come on the battalion leave list however.
As regards promotions I really don’t know what is going to be done. Alfred’s name I believe went in to the War Office before he came out. But they are strange folk & no-one seems to know on what principles they set to work.
I am sorry the watch still loses; dear – it seems just luck with some watches – they never get a fair start. But as you say, it is not worth it, if it cannot be relied on, especially out here when it might mean a question of men’s lives. I am sorry though that it should be giving you so much trouble. I do appreciate it, sweet heart, & everything that you do for me. Thanks ever so much.
The last 24 hours have been fairly quiet D.G. The weather fine & quiet too, & a barometer steadily rising. I am very fit D.G. but have been rather busier than usual. Jones came in for a few minutes this afternoon looking very fit. Time seems to hang & yet I suppose it is going fairly quickly. I only wish it would go a little quicker, until I come home to you again: then it can just crawl. Alas, it’s the other way round….