14th June 1916
French summertime starts today, robbing everyone of much needed sleep; Arthur is weary from working all day in the rain and having to cope with the loss of some of his men: “They are working in the front line. Last night Davison’s party were ‘strafed’ with ‘Minnies’ & I lost one killed, one missing (probably in bits) & two wounded, one of whom, poor chap, died to-day. He was a little chap called Reed, quite a kid, but an awful plucky youngster”.
Arthur to Dollie
Billets, 8.40pm Wednes.
I’m feeling rather weary to-night for I’ve been out all day on a working party. Incidentally I’m out on the same job to-morrow. I got up at half-past five, breakfast 6.15, parade at 7. I had about 300 men in the party. We marched to S[aily Au Bois] : & there had to split the men into 3 groups. It was a beastly morning, dear, cold & dreary, & occasional squalls of rain. This afternoon, however, it cleared a bit & the sun came out between the clouds.
About lunch-time (sandwiches!) I met Lloyd who is up at S- with Davison & half the Company. They are working in the front line. Last night Davison’s party were “strafed” with “Minnies” & I lost one killed, one missing (probably in bits) & two wounded, one of whom, poor chap, died to-day. He was a little chap called Reed, quite a kid, but an awful plucky youngster.
I also met Graham our former MO who has charge of the advanced dressing station. He took me in & gave me lunch. I was hungry dear. We didn’t get in till 5.20. I then heard that they were going to bury Reed at 6. So I snatched a cup of tea and went up to the Military Cemetery here. Henri & Thomas came with me & a lot of the Coy: the CO turned up with Sammy, just back from Paris. After that the CO had a pow-wow: then some orders & papers to attend to & so dinner.
The French adopt summer time to-night, darling mine: at 11pm the clocks are advanced to midnight (incidentally robbing us of an hour’s sleep!) David Jones came back to-day. I am longing for to-morrow & more news from you …