WAR DIARY of AA Laporte Payne 7 March 1917

WAR DIARY of AA Laporte Payne 7 March 1917

 

Extracted from

 

Brigade Diary, Personal Diary, Operation Orders, Note Books, Memoranda

Correspondence

—————–

 

March 7, 1917.

It is just as cold. We are just as busy but less inclined to work owing to the cold.  I am writing letters on my knees in front of a wood fire in a large draughty room in the chateau.  The servants are pasting up the windows and erecting a screen of canvas, but the place is not much warmer.  The Colonel has a liver attack caused by the east wind.  And we are all blue in mind and body.

 

A.A. Laporte Payne letter 7 March 1917

A.A. Laporte Payne letter 7 March 1917

 

B.E.F.

France.

March 7th 1917

 

My own darling,

 

How could you call me Mr. Schoolmaster? I am nothing of the sort – especially to you.  You are almost as bad as I am in putting wrong interpretations on what I write.  I certainly did not mean to insinuate that you used the word ‘orthodox’ in the wrong way.  I meant something quite different.  But I won’t explain now in case I make a bigger mess of things than ever.  How could you sit by an open window writing.  It is bitterly cold here so I suppose you must have had warmer weather than we have had.  We are snowed up again and an east wind is blowing as hard as it can.

 

No I am not getting too many letters from you. Why will you misconstrue my wretched attempts at writing so!  You must make allowances for me.

 

Don’t I always send you the things you want? I wish I knew what they were and then I would always send them.  Do tell me the nicest way I ever began a letter.  I can’t remember.  I have used so many.

 

I have tried to get leave as I wanted to get home and see you so much but I have been put off; at any rate for the present. It is most annoying.  It seems ages and ages since I saw you last, and how I long to be able to have some time with you again.  Did I thank you for the chocolates?  I hope so.  they were much enjoyed.  You are a most thoughtful little darling and much too kind.

 

How are you keeping? Quite well I hope – and Mrs. Cross and everybody. Is your visitor (and her baby) still with you?

 

Things go on much the same out here. We are just as busy and less inclined to work owing to the cold.  I am writing this on my knees in front of a wood fire in a large draughty room in the chateau.  The servants are pasting up the windows and erecting a screen of canvas but the place is not much warmer.  The Colonel has a liver attack – caused by the east wind probably – so we all suffer.  However nothing matters as I have said before – only I qualify it now with ‘except you’ – which makes a tremendous difference.

 

I hope you are behaving yourself well in my absence, but I don’t suppose I should exercise much control even if I were there should I? I am very sorry to hear that you are unshockable.  It will only tempt me to do outrageous things to try and shock you.  But I believe I am growing better every day.  I shall soon wear a halo.  I am sure you will be very glad won’t you?

 

I shall have to stop writing soon as I have to go out. But please, darling, don’t call me Schoolmaster again.  Call me anything else you like but not that.  And if I misbehave like that again you must remember that I can’t help it and certainly don’t mean it.  All the same I don’t think you mind a bit what I say as you know quite well what I really think.

 

I am quite inconsistant in many things I say and do but you know that too.

 

I am expecting a post in this afternoon – and there is only one letter I really want I wonder if it will come. I want something to cheer me up.

 

Au revoir

 

All my love and many many kisses.

Ever yours

Archie.