Feb 18th 17
I guess you will be surprised to see I am still at Felixstowe after receiving my card. Well we were ready to leave at 5 P.M. yesterday, had my kit on when it was cancelled so you can see we were nearly away. I do not know the reason, but they say it was owing to a Naval battle the boats were sounding the syrens all the afternoon.
Well I am writing to wish you many happy returns of your Birthday.
I shall be pleased to hear from you to know that you are well, a post card will be sufficient in case I do not receive it. I don’t know when we shall be leaving now, it may be to-morrow.
Well I think I must finish now (short & sweet) I know you don’t like long letters. Just going down to the Pavilion to hear the band.
With best wishes & good health.
Hoping you are all well.
With much love
From your devoted
Dear Mar & Par
Just a line to let you know I am Gogging along OK. I received the parcel from Mr Tabor and sent them a letter of thanks. Fancy I could hardly believe Gladys was vingt anne. It seems impossible to think she has nearly reached her majority. Hope we shall all be at home to celebrate that occasion anyhow. Willie also must be feeling rather an old bird in fact your humble can’t call himself a chicken altho I feel younger now than I did avant la Guerre. The thaw has set in now and of course everywhere’s muddy. Would liked to have heard Par’s old march. I’m beginning to think we were always a military family. Even in pretty Billie’s days. I suppose everything is under Govt. control now. We still enjoy plenty of food so don’t think the U boats have made much difference up to now. Suppose Geo looked OK. He will have plenty to do if he comes out here as there’s plenty to do. Has Geo Hand been sent out yet what is his address may be able to drop across him- Well I think this is all this time hoping you are all keeping well
A.A. Laporte Payne letter 18 February 1917
Feb 18. 1917
So many thanks for your delightful letter and the delicious cake, which arrived quite safely. I enjoyed both especially your letter of the 12th. I am so glad to hear that you are better and that the rheumatism is not very troublesome.
So you are going to work on the land. It is very brave of you but don’t make your hands hard and your shoulders round. I should be very angry with you if you did that.
If my letters prevent you doing your work properly I must cease writing mustn’t I? Or at least write formal ones as I used to do. Let me know what you think.
I am sorry to hear that Mrs. Cross is losing her voice or rather was. I hope she is better now. Everyone at H.Q. as got a bad cold at present except me. I suppose it is my turn next.
Next time you write address the envelope 175 Brigade R.F.A. Army Field Artillery, B.E.F., France. That excites your curiosity doesn’t it! But I can’t tell you any more that that by letter.
So you still follow your intellectual pursuits. I am very glad to hear it. I have had no time to read lately. I am sure I shall lose the power to read shortly. Have you read “Mr Britling sees it through” by H.G. Wells. I have a copy which I am going to read sometimes in spare moments. Even if you do read a lot of such things as you are reading it is not necessary for your stockings to get bluer. Blue stockingness is an attitude which I don’t think you will fall into – at least I hope not, I am sure you won’t.
I dreamt about you last night and such a nice dream too I hope the opposites don’t come true as you say there are exceptions I hope to every rule. What an age it seems since I saw you last I am getting quite impatient & irritable because of its length – and I have no hope yet of getting away yet unfortunately.
I am always thinking of something I want to tell you but I can’t write. I must keep a book of notes and go over them when I see you or I am sure to forget when I do see you in the excitement of the moment.
I have got to have lunch early to day as I have to make a long expedition so I must hurry up if I want to send this by to-day’s post.
We shall be on the move again shortly so there is a lot of preparation to be got through. I hate moves.
With all my love & kisses. Ever yours Archie.