A.A. Laporte Payne letter 4 February 1917

A.A. Laporte Payne letter 4 February 1917

 

B.E.F.

France.

February 4 1917

 

Muriel Dearest,

 

You are a darling to be so forgiving and for not strafing me more for being such a bad correspondent. Thank you so very much for your letter and the parcel of chocolates which were delicious and arrived quite safely.  How you do spoil me.  I shall become quite overbearing if you go on like this.  You will have to be much more strict and refuse me all these good things if you want me to be a modest and good little boy.

 

Don’t you like this cold weather? I thought you did.  We are getting quite accustomed to it.  are you getting any skating?  We can’t unfortunately.  I suppose there is a lot going on in England.

 

So you think that perhaps I shall under certain circumstances be glad to return after a leave. But I don’t think that is in my hands at all – do you?  Somebody else will have to decide that for me.  I can quite imagine myself warned to the other end of the room out in the cold, but I am hoping that she will be kinder than that.

 

You say that you don’t think you have ever shewn much objection to being alone with me. Unfortunately I have a vivid recollection of a certain afternoon at a tennis party when a certain young lady did all she could within the limits of ordinary politeness to be as unkind as she could and the poor ‘unfortunate me’ was entirely ignored.  I daresay I deserved it and was not worthy of more consideration.

 

Are you keeping quite fit in spite of the weather? I am glad to say I am – I have not even got a cold.  We had 30o of frost last night.  I don’t think I have ever experienced the thermometer down to Zero before.  The men are feeling the cold very much and they are having an awful time in the trenches.  I was down there yesterday.

 

You don’t want to be loved more than I want to make love to you. I am waiting for the time and the opportunity.  A good many horrid things stand between me and heaven.  I should do something desperate if I had not plenty of work to keep my mind occupied.  The job I have now is very interesting and keeps me au fait with everything that is going on, even if I am not in it myself.  For instance I can tell you that all leave has been stopped for the Boche on the western front – interesting isn’t it?  I wonder if the censor will pass that.  They generally stop everything the Boche know better than we do.

 

Boche frightfulness seems to have reached the limit now. What else can they attempt?  I am longing for the day when we get to German soil.  It will be great, but I am afraid the powers that be will not let us retaliate as much as we should like.

 

The beastly telephone has been going again and as I am alone in the office I carry on. Downstairs in the cellars two signallers are on duty with 4 switch boards and I can be put on to any battery, brigade, battalion or the other headquarters in our area also to all companies in the line and O.Ps so you see it is ‘some’ system.  If the Boche misbehave I can get information up and then switch on any battery I like in retaliation.  This is how we wage modern warfare!  I wish I could get a line to you, but then I am afraid I should never do any work.  Perhaps one day in the distant future I may be able to ring up and talk to you.

 

Now I am afraid I shall have to stop.

 

Goodnight – my love and kisses – as much as you want.

 

Ever yours

Archie.

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