29th February 1916
Recent rain has almost cleared the snow but the Companies are set to stay billeted in St Ouen for at least the next two weeks; Arthur is delighted to tell the new Brigadier [Nugent] that he has been in the army from the start of the war and has “been up to my neck in it” i.e. fighting; Dollie is worried that his slippers have not been sent on from home yet and that he might have to suffer bare feet!
Arthur to Dollie
Billets, Tues. even 9.5pm
…Thanks a thousandfold for your letter of Saturday evening; it’s a ripping idea of yours, you thoughtful little personage, for otherwise Tuesday is a blank & dreary day with no new from you…
There was a thaw to-day & practically no snow left. The morning was fine & warm, but it clouded over later, & this evening has been raining. Our further move forward is again post-poned, and rumour has it that we shall be here another fortnight. But that, of course, lies in the unknown future.
This morning we had breakfast about 9: paraded at 9.45 for inspection by our new Brigadier. His name is Nugent & he seems a pretty decent sort of fellow, so far. As he came round my Company he asked me how long I had been out here. So I told him that I had “been up to my neck in it” i.e. fighting. So he complimented me on my luck. He also made a short speech to us, saying how proud he was to have us in his Brigade, & of the name we had made for ourselves.
This afternoon, dear, I confess, I had a snooze on my bed. After tea I was busy on some Company matters, getting things organised; & so, voila.
The others hav’n’t sent those things on from the corner drawer yet, but don’t worry about bare feet … for I’ve an old pair of bedroom slippers that are still fairly serviceable…