20th May 1916
Arthur has barely had time to eat and sleep over the past few days now they are in the front line: “On the night of the 18th a Hun patrol came to our wire & we had a scrap. Christmas who was in the line, rashly went out to investigate & got a mortal wound. Poor chap. He died yesterday. It’s such a pity … we miss him.”
Arthur to Dollie
In the trenches, Satur. even. 9.10pm
It is years since I have been able to write & even now it can only be a very fragmentary sort of letter; for three days ago my company moved into the line from the support trench. I have been & am fearfully busy with my company work. In addition I’ve had a lot of extra work to do for the battalion. So that I’m hard put to it to snatch an odd hour or two here & there to eat & sleep.
Thanks a thousandfold for your dear letters. They comfort & help me more than I can tell you, dear: they are worth their weight in gold, & more …
I relieved C Coy on 19th that’s yesterday dear. On the night of the 18th I was out on patrol with the Brigade Major – Blewitt – who is an awful good chap. Last night I was out again. The enemy are in places 700-800 yards away: the country is rather rolling & there’s plenty of opportunity for patrol work, but its rather tiring.
On the night of the 18th a Hun patrol came to our wire & we had a scrap. Christmas who was in the line, rashly went out to investigate & got a mortal wound. Poor chap. He died yesterday. It’s such a pity for he rather threw his life away. We miss him.
For the rest, dear, I am awfully busy. I managed to snatch a few hours sleep this morning the first for 24 hours. I expect to be on the go until late to-morrow night. To-morrow we are being relieved. I am looking forward to a decent wash & some sleep!
I’m keeping your dear letters to answer either to-morrow or on Monday. God bless you dear – buck up. I send you all my love …