17th December 1915

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17th December 1915

Arthur is practically in command of all working parties in their section; a very wet day to be out; he has sketched the site of fierce fighting around the local Chateau – graves abound, with glimpses of Hun boots or French red trousers; some graves were marked 15th August 1914.

Arthur to Dollie

In my Cellar, Friday even. 9.35

I was lucky to-day for I had two dear letter from you …To-day dear has been a brute of a day: very wet. But our cellar is very snug and warm. We have had working parties out nearly all day & one is still out under Jones & Wilcox. It is awfully funny being practically in command up here.

This morning I went down the road to where the ruins of the chateau lie. The fighting in the village, & especially at the chateau, was terrible when the French drove out the Germans in Oct-Nov 1914. Here’s a plan

sketch 17 12 15 b

The French were behind a wall about 40 yards from the Germans who held the Chateau. The trenches are still definable, & 2 mine craters, dug by the French (marked O): I suppose each one is 40-50 feet across & about 12-16 feet deep. Graves abound (some we saw of August 15 – 1914!) & an occasional pair of Hun boots or the French red trousers.

Well, little lover mine, I think that’s all the news. I’m going to leave the letter open, in case I have a chance to wish you Good-morning! So now Good-night, God be with you.


Vermelles Chateau before 1914Vermelles Chateau after 1914