4th September 1915
A pleasant Company dinner breaks the monotony; hopes for more home leave but nothing is certain; Dollie checks with Arthur about going to a dance; the wind is blowing from the “home” direction, making Arthur wish even more to be back with Dollie; a bath, a lunch, some shopping in Estaires; fixing up a cinema for the men; a letter from brother Dick [in Khartoum] and a parcel from the Mater.
Arthur to Dollie
… The dinner was a great success and made a pleasant break from the perpetual monotony of our usual evening meal. We had dinner about 7.45 & left at 10.30 … The sun is shining to-day but I want you dear sun of my life – for things are dull & gloomy away from you. God bless you.
Johnnie Sutcliffe is trying to work the leave dodge, dear. I hope it will come off. Leave has now been the round of officers & Johnnie is now going to apply for those at the beginning of the list, although 3 months have not elapsed since their last lot. He is not very sanguine of success. But I hope it does come off for I’m only 4th or 5th down and I want to be with you … The CO asked after you again the other day & wants to be remembered to you. I met the Padre yesterday & have fixed up for Confession to-day & Mass to-morrow DG.
Well darling, I think that’s all the news. I feel this is a rotten letter. Forgive me dear. My thoughts & feelings keep on outstripping my pen and I’m continually stopping to recall myself to the words I’m writing. I cannot write one half of what I would say, or speak one half of what I feel … so you must make up my deficiencies out of the store of your knowledge…
Saturday even: 8.50pm
Thanks awfully for your dear letter of Wednesday. Dear heart how I love to find that well known writing on the table waiting for me when I come in. Of course, darling, go to the dance on the 17th. I want you to be happy: I want you to enjoy yourself. You may be sure that on that night you will be in my thoughts in an especial manner and I shall imagine that I am with you once more, and picture us two together, dancing as we have so often danced, supremely happy in each others company.
The weather since I wrote this morning has kept fairly fine. There is a northwest wind blowing that brings showers in its train. Lucky wind, the “home wind” I call it – for it seems to blow straight from the sea and home and you – and I can feel the call of all I love in its breath. It makes me very homesick…
This morning COs orders at 11… Then I went into La Gorgue with Newson. We had a priceless bath, he drew some money. It was then about 20 past one so we walked into Estaires where we saw about a watch and had lunch at the local hotel – in the Hotel de Ville. Quite good.
After lunch we busied ourselves about a cinema for the men, backwards & forwards. Finally it began to rain, so Newson who was coming back here was left to complete the final arrangements. Lewis, whom we had met at lunch, and I turned back into Estaires for tea. After tea we came back here. I found your dear letter; also one from Dick and a parcel from the Mater. God bless her. I then went into La Gorgue again for Confession… To-morrow I am going over to Mass at 8.30. So Good-night & God bless you…