Archie A. Laporte Payne letters home November 1914

Archie A. Laporte Payne letters home November 1914


On embossed Government notepaper.


R.A. Mess



Monday Nov 1914


My dearest Mother & Father,


Many thanks for your letters and parcel of washing. I am glad of a silk handkerchief too.  I brought one the other day – a silk one – and then tried to wash it and all the colour came out.  We are as you can imagine very busy.


I arrived back safely last Sunday and found things much as usual. The magazines proved very acceptable to the men in barracks.  I have been out riding most days this week.  On Saturday I had four hours in the saddle.  I may have to go to Ipswich after all.  It will be further away from home but it will be nicer there I think.  I do not like Colchester at all.


We had church parade yesterday morning as usual. I was in command of our battery.


I have called on the Harrises twice lately but they have been out both times.


How are things going in Finchley? I hope well.  I am sorry Father has a sore throat.  I hope it is better now, and also Mother’s throat.  I expect Evelyn is enjoying herself in Bath.  Tell Maude to come down here by a cheap train with someone nice if she can get off.  I could see her once or twice during the day.  There is no where to go down here and nothing to do unfortunately.


I don’t know when I shall be able to get away again. I enjoyed my last week end very much indeed.  It was all too short though we are still under canvas but I don’t mind it a bit now.  It has been extraordinarily mild although a trifle damp.


The news from the front is much better to-day. It rests to a great extent with the Russians I think.


If you hear of anyone with a good pair of field glasses – I should be glad of them.


Hoping you are all well with much love to you & all


Your loving son




On embossed headed notepaper.


Royal Field Artillery


R.A. Crest.

Monday Nov 16 1914


My dearest Mother & Father,


I enjoyed my short visit to you very much indeed. I was glad to find you all well and everything going well.  I got back here quite safely and am hard at work again.  Tomorrow I hope to go into a billet.  I find it will only cost me 3d a day over the amount I am allowed for living out which is 4/9 per day.


Please tell Maude to give me due notice when she is coming down. Don’t you think she might stay the night here if she came down with somebody?  I can make all arrangements.


With much love to you & all.



Your affectionate son




On plain notepaper.

R.A. Mess


Nov 27th 1914

My dearest Mother & Father,


Thank you very much for your letters and parcel of washing which arrived quite safely. I am so sorry to hear that Eve has been so unwell.  I hope you have better news of her now.


Things go much as usual now we have got a new battery commander. The other man having left for France to do Reconnaissance work in the Royal Flying Corps.


My host’s brother Major Chopping R.A.M.C. has arrived tonight from Ypres in France for a short holiday of 3 days – for a rest and to get married.  He has been telling me a lot of interesting news from the front.  He says all our men are doing and can do is to hold the Germans for the present.  The men are worn out with constant marching & fighting.


I am very sorry you have had all that trouble about a sword. It was very good of you to trouble so much.  It was the fault of those stupid people Kinos.


Anyhow I am glad you have got the money back. I shan’t trouble about a sword just at present.  They may be cheaper & better later on.


I had dinner at the Harris’ on Wednesday night & took a friend with me. I see some stupid man (probably a slacker) has been criticising the probable granting of a week’s leave about Christmas time.  I wish I could get him here & let my men have a go at him.


I am sorry to hear about Mr Sherlock. It is very sad for his sons.  I see Hunters – my Salisbury friend has been wounded at the front.


No doubt everything is prospering favourably at Finchley, at least I hope so and that you are all keeping well.


The weather is very changeable here. Last night it rained very hard.  I am afraid I can’t get away this week end.  Perhaps it is just as well as it is rather expensive travelling.


When does Evelyn come home? I suppose soon now & then it will be Maude’s turn.


With much love to you & all.



Your affect son


Without cover.


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