War Diary of AA Laporte Payne 2 Jan 1918
Brigade Diary, Personal Diary, Operation Orders, Note Books, Memoranda
January 2 1918
I have just received an enormous and beautifully packed box of delicious eatables. The contents enabled us suitably to celebrate the New Year. They also helped us to escape an embarrassing difficulty in providing for an unexpected guest, who arrived twenty-four hours before he was invited to dinner, due to his mistake, and when our larder was sadly diminished. The timely arrival of the parcel turned the horrible possibility of a dismal failure to provide suitable hospitality into a great success of triumphant courses of tinned chicken and fruits. The relief to the Mess President and Secretary enabled them to enjoy a very merry evening. The excellent cake and cigarettes were also a god-send.
It is very cold here now, and many are sick. And the Colonel is not in a good temper. He has some one worrying him.
There is more news about us in the papers now. It amuses me the way our authorities pretend the Boche does not know all about us.
Our battery organised an officers’ jumping competition the other day open to all comers. It was won by one of our battery’s subalterns on a mare that won at Aldershot, and an Infantry Captain on his own hunter was second. My bay mare knocked her knee against the top bar of one of the jumps and now has a fat leg.
Some one said “If this is war, to hell with peace”. But I, being an Asquithian, replied “Wait and see.” The relief from Flanders inclines some of us to be unduly optimistic. I do not know which is worse to be drowned in mud or to be frozen to an icicle. Fighting is common to both places but here, at present, in a modified degree.