A.A. Laporte Payne letter 22 January 1917

A.A. Laporte Payne letter 22 January 1917




January 22nd 1917




We have just completed a move which has unfortunately upset things among them the post. We are now in another part of the line,but not a great distance away from where we were before.  We have not got such a good billet as the mess was an empty room when we went into it but we have managed to steal some furniture so we are not so badly off.  The doctor’s and my bedrooms are in another house and are well furnished.


I suppose you are having very cold weather as well as ourselves. It is extraordinarily cold at present and it seems likely to continue.  The mud certainly does not trouble now but I think I prefer the warmer weather and mud.  I hope you are keeping well.  I know this weather suits you.  Thank you so much dearest for your letter and parcel of chocolate which arrived safely and came just when it was wanted.  We were chewing it in the office when we felt hungry and cold.


I am very sorry you had the misfortune to upset the salt, but why trouble? You have nothing else than good luck, do you?


You must certainly not sit up too late at night. It is very bad for you.  And certainly not in order to write letters to me however much I may want them.  I am afraid we here are getting into the bad habit of doing that.  We sit round the fire talking at night.  Going to bed is so cold.  Everything gets frozen even the sponge.


What a lot you are reading! You quite frighten me.  Now it’s Marcus Aurelius!  You will grow into a ‘blue stocking’.  I don’t like blue ones.  I like black and silk at that.  Pardon the verb ‘grow’.  What have you been doing in England?  Blowing up our ammunition.  Did you hear the explosion?  I suppose it would be heard all over the London area.  The papers seem full of it, although there is not much news as yet.


Leave for me does not seem likely yet I am afraid. I want it badly and yet for somethings I don’t want it.  It will be so awful having to return after it when I have seen you again in such different circumstances.  I wonder what you will be like this time.  I shall be very shy I know – perhaps I shall run away and hide!


It has been most annoying not having the post regularly but I hope now it will be better. Your letters are all I wait for now.  You have been most good in writing.  I do hope you don’t find it difficult to write now as you used to do.  How awful existence would be without your letters!  When I get home how on earth are we going to continue to meet alone sometimes.  Shall I ever be able to have you all alone to myself once or twice.  I shall then be able to bear seeing you when there are others about.  Do you remember how you tried to evade taking a taxi with me in town last time.  I thought perhaps you did not want to be alone with me anywhere – even in a taxi.  That made me determined to get a taxi.  But I shewed you, I think, how good I would be however great the temptation was.  But what opportunities I lost!  Shall I be able to make up for them in the future?  You will have to be very strict I am afraid.  As I have promised to dine our tonight at another Brigade Headquarters I shall have to stop writing.  I don’t want to go but I am afraid I shall have to now.  I would much rather stay in by the fire and write to you and dream day dreams – the latter very unprofitable but very nice.


With all my love, darling and kisses

Ever yours