17th December 1916
Arthur’s last known letter to Dollie from the Western Front: it is Sunday and he has been to Mass and Communion with brother Alfred. No mail today, and in the replay of the football match, Arthur’s team lost. The recent French victory against the Germans is encouraging though, and he expects firm news of leave any minute now: “Please God I shall be with you almost as soon as this letter, if not before”.
Arthur to Dollie:
Sunday even: 9.10pm
… There was no mail again to-day: I half expected it when three letters came yesterday. Nonetheless I was very disappointed, for I just love to hear from you. No more news in yet from the Brigade about leave: I am expecting it almost “any minute” now.
I went to Mass this morning at 9, & Communion. Afterwards I went across with Alfred to breakfast; & stayed at HQ until mid-day. Otherwise to-day , dear, being a “day without mail” has not been very exciting.
Everyone is very pleased with the news of Verdun – the French are wonderful: that & the news from Germany are tophole.This afternoon the football match was replayed. The score 4-1 against us. I think we were unlucky to lose, for we had the better of the game – however –.
The weather was fairly fine again: & we had some sun. But the days are short. The afternoon is scarcely begun before darkness & the mist draw on. The country is very low-lying & watery…
…. Please God I shall be with you almost as soon as this letter, if not before.