9th December 1916
Arthur and Company are now safely out of the line and back in more comfortable billets, with gas lighting and a store! Even the wet and miserable weather cannot dampen Arthur’s spirits, because on taking advice from his brother: “…Alfred told me not to put in for it [Paris leave] as the CO was asking how long I had been out here, & was considering putting my name in for my “month”. Later he said that the CO had sent it in … If it only came through, it would be just heavenly”.
Arthur to Dollie
Satur. even. 8.15.
… Thanks awfully for your dear letters of Tuesday & Wednesday. I was so pleased to get them. You darling, I just love to hear from you. I am hoping to catch the mail first thing to-morrow. We came “out” to-day for the longer spell that Alfred spoke of. So we are now back in comfortable billets at – (where we were before our push up here in Sep ’15). We [have] quite a comfortable mess – with incandescent gas! & a store. Lidiard rejoined to-day from a Bayonet Fighting and Physical Drill Course.
The weather is beastly again to-day – very wet – but we are “out” – so who cares? About Rochford, dear: technically when I kept to the guns & he was made a Captain he became senior to me. The CO went off this morning on leave.
I hav’n’t put in for Paris leave, darling, on Alfred’s advice. I asked him about [it] the other day, & he promised to sound the CO & see if he’d recommend it. Next time he saw me, Alfred told me not to put in for it as the CO was asking how long I had been out here, & was considering putting my name in for my “month”. Later he said that the CO had sent it in. This of course may mean nothing, as I think it has to go to the Corps; & it is not like ordinary leave, where an allotment is given, & the names are accepted almost without question. At any rate, dear, the thing has gone forward. Alfred had said that the CO had asked for it for the 22nd. Of course here again if the Corps do grant it they may alter the date.
You see, darling of my heart, I am awfully excited & I don’t want you to set too much by it, until it comes through, in case of disappointment. But here’s hoping! If it only came through, it would be just heavenly…