A.A. Laporte Payne letter 5 March 1917.
March 5th 1917.
The post is just going out by wagon so I am sending this hastily scribbled note to you to let you know I am still think of you and hoping for leave – and to send you my love.
So many thanks for your letter, photo, and the box of chocolates. Your letter was what I wanted most and the photos were a delightful surprise – how well you are looking! They seem to bring you so much nearer to me. Thay were just what I was wanting. The chocolates are much too much appreciated by the Colonel and the Doctor for my liking. They only arrived to day and already they are nearly finished alas! Maude seems to have had a bad time. I hope she is better now and able to accompany you to the Guildhall. I hear Reg is coming out to France. I wish he were not. I am afraid it will make my people worry although a parson can look after himself if he likes but I don’t think Reg will be content with that sort of thing.
Can’t you get a job out here as a typist or something? I will sack one sergeant if you like and you can come to our office. What a lot of work I should have to do them! But I am afraid they will not allow them into the firing line – the lady clerks I mean.
I wish you would write nonsense as you call it for hours. I am quite content to read anything you write. I am developing into such a very bad correspondent that I am quite ashamed of myself – and when I do write I send such feeble attempts at a letter that it is even worse. Perhaps you know what it feels like to be told to write about such a vast subject that anything that is written looks silly. It is like writing an essay on ‘Life’ or something like that. It is quite impossible for a person like me. Perhaps someday when I send myself by post I shall make a better attempt to explain in person all what I want to say now and can’t.
Part of my work here is making out leave warrants for officers and other ranks to get home and I suppose if I made bold I could get leave too – now what do you think of me? You will say no doubt that I don’t want to get home or something like that. But I should not have told you if that were really the case should I?
I don’t like asking the Col just at present as there is a lot to be done and he might possibly say no and then I could not ask again for some time. That is the selfish reason – and the other reason is that there are several who want to get away for special reasons, relations dying and other such horrors – and I can’t say that I am in want of leave for that reason I am glad to say. But if I get half a chance I shall put my name forward for leave. I wonder how I shall be received in Finchley!
We are snowed up again. Isn’t it awful! The ground will never dry up if it goes on like this. Nothing can be done in this weather and it is wretched for the fellows in the front line.
We are living in a large empty chateau – it is very cold – the fires don’t warm the place a bit. The Col does not like it at all. He is a most amusing fellow as he gets so angry about things that can’t be helped. He is a typical regular soldier.
I hope you are keeping well. No colds or measles. Wouldn’t it be nice for me if you got ill just as I was coming home! I should return I think.
I must close now as the post is just going. With all my love & kisses