A.A. Laporte Payne letter to Muriel 24 July 1917
July 24th 1917
You have, I hope, by this time received one or two letters from me. I expect you got very angry with me for being so long. Thank you so much for yours of the 20th and the photos which have just arrived.
Were you successful in getting your wages paid? I am indeed very sorry that you have got so low that you are contemplating a pawnshop. I hope the financial situation is better now.
So you would like to be on the same sort of holiday as the Revd & Mrs. Don’t you think I should too, dearest? It is difficult to imagine having such a good time under these circumstances. I wonder whether you would find the anticipation better than the realisation, or vice versa. I know which I think the best and it is not the first in this case. Such things would probably make me silly though and then think how awful it would be to have a lunatic companion.
I wonder how Reg likes married life. I hope he won’t repent at leisure. He certainly married in haste.
We are still having a strenuous time. The Boche keeps us very busy. Leave seems as far off as ever alas!
I have actually had a bathe afternoon, and after buying some eggs and fish for the gun line fellows I am now going up the line with the ammunition.
It has been cloudy to-day but fine and warm. I suppose you are having it the same.
I have had to have one of my horses shot to-day, alas! It got a rope gall which got poisoned and then grew so bad that the hoof was nearly off – so it had to be shot.
The teams are just turning out. I hate this night work up the line with horses – you never know when the Boche are going to turn their guns onto the road and with horses it the dark it is horrible.
I hope you are keeping well, dearest
With all my love & kisses
24 July 1917
Dear F & M
Glad to receive your letter and know you are all merry and bright. I am just jogging along quietly taking an occasional walk thro the woods round about. The fields also are at their best the natives round here work long hours in the fields from sunrise to sunset. Could just do with a meal off Par’s vegs. I’ve forgotten what garden peas are like. Still I hope to enjoy them next summer with a bit of luck. I see the Huns tried to get to London again.
I suppose Dolly is married by now. Yes I recd George’s letter OK some time ago and sent him a picture pc in reply. I have also sent him a few ordinary “I am quite well things”. So Gladys is going to pay Hilda a visit. I hope she has a good time. You might remember me to her. So Par has been at his games again. I suppose he will be a mechanic before the war’s over. I would like to see the lawn mower in its shed I should think it would look like an aeroplane in its hangar. I suppose my dawg has got quite grown up but don’t think he likes to argue the point with other dogs. The Russians seem a queer lot but should think Kerensky ought to pull things together.
Well I think this is all this time old dears.
Yours Gussie de Grabit
July 24th 17
Just a few lines to thank you very much for your parcel received yesterday; also for Jessie’s welcome letter. The contents as usual are very nice I know I shall enjoy them all; the cake is or rather was very good as it is all gone now.
Well there is not very much in the way of news to tell you, but I will do my best. Please tell Ethel Wrigley’s is just what I want it is grand stuff when one is on the march we can get it out here but I never think to buy any until I want it then of course it is too late. I will write to young Winnie the first opportunity have been going to do so for sometime.
I bet Jack is glad to get home again, & that he is keeping well. He is having a long stay but of course not too long I bet the time goes too soon. They make a great fuss about taking names for leave in this mob, in the end they only send one or two for about ten days. I have not been out long enough although time is getting on five months I might stand a chance in another four, but I hope to be home before that.
Where do you all think of going for your summer holidays? I should like to come with you but Mr. King said he cannot spare me at present I hope you will have a good time.
I received the 10/- note safely it was very welcome I answered it at once so no doubt you have got the letter by now but in case not I thank you very much.
I am at present engaged as officers servant have been on the job just over a week now. It has several advantages as we escape the majority of parades we only turn out on special days but it is a good rush then. He has been in England for sometime but was with the Battalion before everybody says he looks after his servants well but I cannot say at present as I have had to buy several things for him that is where your 10/- came in handy but I know I can have it when I am in want of it.
There was a parcel waiting for me when we came to this place from Southend which was July 4th nearly three weeks now have not heard anything since have you had any news I hope they are well.
I had a nice parcel from Ciss last week. The air raid was very close to them I hope you have not had any more visits lately.
The weather is very nice at present I expect good old Blighty looks a treat now.
How is Mr. & Mrs. Darvill & family I hope they are all well & all others whom I know.
Well I think I must stop now. Glad you are all in the best of health pleased to say I am A1.
With much love from