8th March 1916
Arthur’s belongings (left at home on his previous leave) have finally caught up with him, and the welcome parcel includes the added bonus of chocolate, socks and cocoa; a request to Dollie to send more envelopes and to perform an act of kindness for a wife of one of his men; sister Mabel has recently had a baby [Marcella Arrigo (“Cella”) born on 1st March 1916]; Arthur is kept busy learning up about their new arrival – a Lewis gun; with spring arriving more visibly each day there are hopes that the recent great show at Verdun will go a long way towards ending the war.
Arthur to Dollie
Billets, Ash Wednes. 8.40pm
…To-day brought me two dear letters (Sunday’s & Monday’s) in the handwriting I love so much (whose author – or authoress! – I long so much to see). Thanks awfully, dear heart. I also had a parcel from home, with some of my things from the corner draw & some odds & ends besides: a pair of socks, chocolate & cocoa. I was very pleased to get it, for it included a packet of envelopes for this paper. I finished the last of those I had with me on my letter to you yesterday, so that their arrival was most opportune. I still have two blocks, not yet commenced but I’m afraid, dear heart, that I shall need some more envelopes in about a fortnight’s time. So I wonder, dear, if you could get me some more, please…
I want you to do me another favour too, if you would, dear, please. Do you remember I had a servant named B. He had had trouble with his wife. Apparently he is reconciled to her now. I have £2 of his wages I’ve been keeping for him & he has asked me to send it to his wife. I thought, dear, (knowing your dear heart) that you’d do this for me. So I’m sending you a cheque for £2, dear heart: would you get postal orders for the amount & send them to Mrs. B… Thanks awfully in advance, dear.
What about Mabs, eh dear! I must try to get a line to her.
To-day I’ve been awfully busy – on parade all the morning & all the afternoon. After tea I’ve been learning up the Lewis gun – a new machine gun that we have now. The weather to-day has been glorious – almost hot and all the buds are beginning to break out into green. I wish we were together, dear heart of mine, to enjoy it. We all hope that this great show at Verdun will go a long way towards ending the war.