26th May 1916

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26th May 1916

A long wet night for Arthur and the men – marking out the new trenches – with the prospect of two nights of digging to follow; one compensation is the surrounding countryside “The country is quite pretty; looking its best”; the ports are closed to mail at the moment so Arthur is longing for Dollie’s next letter; the promise of leave is keeping him going.

Arthur to Dollie

Billets, France, Friday 2.30pm

I hav’n’t had a letter for two days. Havre has been closed for a bit – two days, I think, though Boulogne is still open. Please heaven I’ll get them all to-morrow. Yesterday dear, I had another very busy day & was out all night until two on a job. It poured hard & I was soaked. But the rain is welcome for the ground was very hard & dry. I managed to get to Mass & Communion yesterday morning. I was very pleased.

My thoughts are continually with you, dear. I am longing for leave. I love to sit & think of us two together, just you & I, love, in all the world … I’d give anything to be with you again. Please heaven, next week or the week after I shall be home. The Mater wrote me a short note the other day: she is very fit.

We are out again on night work to-night, dear. It’s very tiring but I hope we’ll have an easy day to-morrow.             The country is quite pretty; looking its best. Just here we are really on a watershed. So that although the villages are thickly wooded, the country is pretty open & rolling for 4 or 5 miles each way. Such a change from the interminable plain of Flanders further north…