22nd June 1916
“And when they were up they were up, and when they were down they were down, but when they were only half way up” … Arthur should win an award for describing the most confusing Company movements to date; meanwhile he bemoans the lack of post, in or out; after a hard days work they are camping in an orchard in canvas huts, and thankfully able to rest in the heat, if only for one day; still no firm news of brother Dickie, currently back in England.
Arthur to Dollie
In an Orchard, Thurs. morn. 11.40am
…Darling, this is a queer letter: I’ve started every opportunity & something has always cropped up. On Tuesday evening, we had orders for a move: they were rather weird orders. The position was like this: A,B & some of C Coy were at H-; part of C Coy & D were at S – half–way up. The final position had to be A&B at 1, the whole of C&D at 2: 1 being half-way up, 2 being just behind the line. HQ had to be somewhere else. In addition A&B had to work all day in two other places.
I’m afraid this is fearfully confused, dear, but the result was that yesterday C&D moved up to their place, HQ to their place. They moved in the afternoon. A moved off at 5am, worked all day & then came on here. We (B) moved off at 7.30am, worked all day too & got here about 6pm. So since yesterday evening Evie and I have been on our own. Many compensations – but one great drawback – NO POST IN OR OUT! We join HQ this afternoon & I hope to get this posted then.
We had a pretty hard days work yesterday & were glad to get in. We are living in canvas huts in a great orchard – not a stick of furniture: we have our valises & our mess kit – so it’s a kind of a big picnic. The weather luckily is glorious but rather hot & the roads are already thick in dust. This is a ripping orchard we’re in; & a days rest is a comfort. But its such a waste of sun & the deep, cool grass without you by my side … Leave seems to be hanging fire a bit, but I don’t think it will make any difference to the great event! I am madly excited about it…
We will probably move from here about 4 this afternoon. I wish they’d leave us here a bit longer. Last night Lloyd and I met Daddy Lewis. He took us off & gave us dinner – very sporting of him. We brought down a Hun “Sausage” observation balloon) the day before yesterday. Great joy.
What is Dick doing, dear, has he got an extension? I hear that you cannot get an extension for teeth any more – they treat you for it on this side of the water. I am longing for news of you, darling. I can never hear enough…