14th May 1916

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14th May 1916

Arthur is full of encouragement for Dollie, who is feeling dull at their enforced separation; he sends the Pater’s letter home to her – so she can read at first hand how things stand – with a bit of luck they will be able to marry in 6 months time; Dollie is worried that strengthening the Companies may mean trouble ahead – Arthur is more worried that the new men are not battle hardened.

Arthur to Dollie

France, Sun. even.

Thanks ever so much for your two dear letters of Thursday & Friday… I am so sorry you’re so dull … try not yield to these dull thoughts. They are bound to come. Try & put up with them, & so you’ll win over them. I know how you must feel, for they come to me sometimes. But let us have courage in ourselves and in God … Let us face the future gladly.

We shall not be back in Divisional reserve until next week, so I am sending you the Pater’s letter. Can you read it? and when you’ve read it you can send it back for me to answer when I get out. You see, he writes absolutely frankly & seems hopeful of doing something in the six months. Dear old Pater.

Now, darling, you’re not to worry that we’re up to strength. It happened naturally with the formation of the division on its own as a Territorial division; being up to strength is the normal state of every Regular & K battalion. It means rather a lot of worry and anxiety for us who have been out here all this time – for the men are absolutely raw to fire & gas. Please God, they’ll stick it.

This morning we paraded from 9 – 10 then we had breakfast. I went to Confession, Mass & Communion. Here where the Brigade is in the line we are allowed to receive Communion even if not fasting, as a viaticum.

The weather is still very cloudy & wet – the ground is very muddy. A & D Coys are working to-night; C was on work last night. This evening, dear, Henri asked me to make a fourth for bridge; so I’ve been playing round there. The CO is very full of buck nowadays. His leave did him an awful lot of good…