Archie A. Laporte Payne letter home 20 Sept 1914
On headed notepaper.
Christ Church Vicarage,
North Finchley N.
Sunday Sept 20 1914.
My dearest Mother,
Many thanks indeed for your letter and parcel which arrived safely. Thank you for your tie which is just right. I am sorry you had a bother about the address. I was first of all billeted in a pub – four men in a smelly little room – I was very bored – when in the town later I met a friend who said he was billeted in a palace – so I got leave from the special constable & went there. They treated us like lords and my friend & I had a room to ourselves and a bed each. Next day unfortunately we were all re-billeted by companies – and we have got in a very much smaller place & not nearly such nice food – but eight friends have got together in two houses. We are up in the morning at 5.30, and we get plenty of work – but it will be rather fun I think.
I have met heaps of men I know. There are 3500 of us here now.
This afternoon & evening my friend Richards took me to some friends of his who have a gorgeous place here. We had tea & dinner there. They are very nice.
Thank you very much for the really good time I have had at home – but I am glad you let me go off, as I really could not stay at home when everyone is enlisting. I may get a commission yet – but I don’t mind if I don’t now.
Will you get me a Vyella shirt Khaki – 10/6 at Army & Navy Stores – detachable shirt collar one and one collar (1/-) collar 15 ½ in – also please send me my Hawkes colour sweater.
We get very little time to ourselves – the Parade ground is miles away.
Hope you are all well & flourishing
With much love to you all
Your affectionate son