26th April 1916
Arthur is still away on a course and time is hanging heavy – he is desperately waiting for an answer to his letter, sent to the Pater last week, and Jeffreys (his groom) has been sent back repeatedly to the regiment to collect any post; the weather has been blazing hot and Arthur is sat in the cool of the Orchard writing this letter, listening to the birds and watching horse Ben grazing – and longing for the war to end.
Arthur to Dollie
France, Wednes. aft: 4.30pm
… To-day again has been a day without a post. I sent Jeffreys up to the regiment: he returned empty-handed. The weather has been glorious again – blazing sun & fearfully hot.
This morning, dear, we paraded as usual – at 9.30. It was rather fun – for the detachments practised working down trenches – attacking each other with dummy bombs made out of clay with a fuse & a detonator to explode them. They just burst with a loud bang but are harmless.
This afternoon we have been slacking; for this evening we are going to do some night work. So after lunch, dear, we brought out a waterproof sheet & a book and have been lying on the grass in the orchard. We have had the table brought out & have had tea here.
It is all so beautifully peaceful, little one. As I sit the birds are chirruping away – there are 4 young calves & Ben wandering about, grazing. I just feel I cannot do without you, dear: may God, in His Goodness, see fit to repay us after this separation by a long life spent together… I’m longing for the war to end …