10th July 1916

After a long day’s travel on Sunday, Arthur has now come to the end of his first full day at the Third Army Infantry School (at Auxi-le-Chateau)  and explains the regime to Dollie; he expects to be kept pretty busy so will have to work hard to find time to write home every day; another directive to Evie, telling him to buck up.

Arthur to Dollie

Monday 12.5pm

…You’ll forgive me for not having written yesterday, I’m sure. It took us from about 7am till half-past four to reach here; & when we arrived & settled down, I found that the mails left at 4.

It was a glorious day yesterday and very hot. We were up at 5, had breakfast & came into S-e by 7. Here two lorries were supposed to pick us up: but the division made a mistake & only sent one. We therefore reported to the nearest HQ but another lorry didn’t turn up until after 1. However, it only took us 3 or 4 hours to come along. We stopped at D. halfway for ¾ of an hour & had an excellent lunch. When we reached here we settled down. Had tea. By the way my address, I think you know dear, is Third Army (Infantry) School B.E.F.

They say the mails ar’n’t very good here. I am hoping for a letter soon. I wrote to Nanny for my slacks & boots. Do you know if she has sent them. I need them rather for Mess. Evie I daresay will tell you all about this place, how we are divided into squads or “syndicates” of about 30. Our syndicate (No1) has 2 Messes No6 & No9. I am in the former. Garrard is in another syndicate. I’m not altogether sorry, for I think it’s better in a way to be more or less on one’s own. A fellow called Sneath of the 2nd Londons is in the same Mess as myself. Quite a good fellow: Evie will know him.

Our hours threaten to be pretty long. We are occupied until after 4.30pm. Hours of meals, brekker at 8, lunch at 1, tea 5; Mess 8. I’m afraid I shall have to do most of my writing overnight. I think this month’s rest will do me a lot of good. Anyway you mustn’t worry over my safety, will you dear.

Well, little lover mine. I’ll close for the time [being] and write longer to-night. Take care of yourself, queen of mine … Remember me to all; tell Evie to buck up.