A.A. Laporte Payne letter 4 January 1917.
January 4th 19167.
Thank you so much for your letter just arrived. I am back at the battery and I must send you a note before I go to the trenches, which I shall have to do in ten minutes time, so I can’t say much. I had the joy this morning of discovering a Boche battery and I was instrumental in giving them rather a bad time this afternoon.
The weather is finer but colder so I have just been issuing some rum to the men for tea. I have not heard the secret yet. When am I going to be enlightened? I have never been so curious before – but then you see you are concerned. I can’t write this afternoon my hands are so cold –please forgive the scribble.
So you guessed who sent the watch. Was it a bow at a venture or did you really guess? You must have so many admirers.
I suppose it’s no use denying as I want to say change it if you don’t like it. I received this from the silly people “We much regret that the selection from our catalogue is not in stock at the moment, but we have sent a somewhat similar watch.” So please change it for anything else you want. That is the worst of living in exile. You are at the mercy of these people.
I must reluctantly close now.
With my fondest love, darling, and many kisses.