War Diary of AA Laporte Payne 18 August 1917.

War Diary of AA Laporte Payne 18 August 1917.

 

EXTRACTED FROM.

 

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

Correspondence

—————–

 

18th August 1917

August 18, 1917.

The weather is better here, and the mud is drying up quite nicely. We shall be able to get on with the war soon.

 

There is no opportunity of leave yet……

 

I am losing my “stable companion”, the scotch subaltern, who has, alas! to go up the line. I hope I shall be going soon, too.  It is rather dull down here at times, though there is plenty to do.

 

This evening I am expecting the Major down to inspect the Wagon Line, but he has not turned up yet. Things are not as ship-shape as they might be, but what can you expect with less than half the men we ought to have?

A.A. Laporte Payne letter to Muriel 18 August 1917

A.A. Laporte Payne letter to Muriel 18 August 1917

 

B.E.F.

August 18 1917

 

My own dearest,

 

Is the weather any better for your holiday now? I do hope so.  It is much better here and it is drying up quite nicely.  We shall be able to get on with the war soon.  Thank you very much, dear, for your letter which has just arrived.  So you return on the 24th.  I am afraid I shall not be able to get away so soon as that.  No officers are on leave at present except those who are sick and everybody wants to go now.  Battery Commanders will go first I expect.

 

How are you all keeping? Well and having a good rest I hope.  Give my love to Mr & Mrs Cross.  There is no news to tell you as usual.  Everything is very much the same.

I am losing my ‘stable companion’. He has to go up the line alas!  I hope I shall be going soon too.  It is rather dull down here at times although there is plenty to do.  The last two days have been a bit slacker.

 

I was to have gone on a joy ride with the Colonel yesterday in a car he had borrowed to a large town some way away but I could not get away in the end as some stupid thing turned up which had to be done. So I was done out of a frivol in the afternoon and a good dinner at night.  However I may be able to go some other time.

 

This evening I am expecting the major down to inspect the Wagon Line but he has not turned up yet. Things are not as ship-shape as they might be but what can you expect with less than half the number of men we ought to have.

 

It does seem a long time ago since I saw you last. I am just longing to see you again.  I hope you will be kind and treat me well.  Or are you going to keep me in order this time?

 

With all my love dearest & many kisses

Ever your

Arch.

War Diary of AA Laporte Payne 17 August 1917.

War Diary of AA Laporte Payne 17 August 1917.

 

EXTRACTED FROM.

 

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

Correspondence

—————–

 

17th August 1917

August 17, 1917.

August is now living up to its reputation. It might be April or March.

 

The team horses are not looking up to the mark. The rain and mud have spoilt their coats, and I have not enough men to groom them properly.  The gun-line have too many up there and many are on leave.

 

The attitude of people in England now is strange.  The men come back from leave with impressions they should not have.  I have asked several how they enjoyed their leave.  A typical answer I get is “Oh! Alright, sir, but everybody is fed up with the war, and grumbling”.  Now this is strange.  Surely the troops out here are the ones who might be expected to grouse immoderately, and be forgiven.  There is no comparison between the conditions.  If at times the men here do grumble, there is hardly one who wants to get out of it or finish the war until we have the Boche well beaten.  Thank heaven, there is no peace talk out here.  I have come to the conclusion that all the men who have got any spirit at all are out here.  At home you have now only physical wrecks, politicians and socialists avid for higher wages as munition workers.  If you come across any mumblers of peace tell them off on our behalf.  Out here we are quite cut off and inarticulate as the war correspondents have no time for the opinions of mere regimental officers or troops.

A.A. Laporte Payne letter to Muriel 17 August 1917

A.A. Laporte Payne letter to Muriel 17 August 1917

 

B.E.F.

Aug 17th 1917

 

My own dearest,

 

I am so glad to hear that you are a united family once more. You must be very glad to see them both again after such a long time away.   How were they after their strenuous time in town – Mrs Cross cooking & housekeeping and Mr Cross moving?  I hope you survived the gay time you had at Bagston Hill and will not find Welshpool too dull for you.  The weather too ought to behave itself a little better for you now – it is struggling hard here but is not succeeding very well.  How long are you going to stay up north?  I suppose you will not be able to face town in August.

 

What a relief it must be to get away from fruit picking, small quarters and early hours. You used not to like Sundays, but don’t you appreciate them now after your late experiences?

 

Are you getting any tennis or is it too wet? August seems to be living up to its reputation!  It might be called April, I think, or even March.  Perhaps September will make up for it.

 

Have you heard anything of Maude? I think she ought to have come away when you did.  She will be quite a hardened old farmer when she arrives home again.

 

It is just about feeding time for the horses and they know it and are getting very impatient. They are not looking up to the mark – the rain has spoilt their coats and I have not enough men to groom them properly; so many drivers are on leave.  I shall be glad when all the men have had their leave.  The men who are going now have not had any at all since they have been out, poor devils.

 

There is no news to tell you. Everything goes on as usual.  The attitude of people in England towards the war is annoying me at present.  The men come back from leave with impressions they should not have.  I have asked several how they enjoyed their leave and the answer I usually get is “Oh! Alright, but everybody is fed up with the war, and grumbling”.  Surely the men who are entitled to grouse are the fellows who have a rotten time of it and if they do so at times there is hardly one who wants to get out of it until we have well beaten the Boche.  There is no peace talk out here thank goodness.  If you come across any such creatures you might tell them off from me will you?

 

How are you keeping dearest? Quite alright I hope.

 

I am still living for leave and you but the former seems a long time coming.

 

With all my love & kisses

Ever your

Arch.

F. Smith letter 16 August 1917.

F. Smith letter 16 August 1917.

Aug 16th 17

 

Dear Father

 

I will now endeavour to answer your welcome letter also the enclosed 10/- note thank you very much it is very kind of you indeed.

Well here goes for a little bit of news in general.  I had a parcel from Albert to-day, also a card to say he was safe after the air raid; did they visit your way this time?

I see you are on your lonesome at present but no doubt you manage to pass the time away by running round the houses & having a chat with some of your old friends.

We have been having a rough time lately went in the line last Friday & came out on Tuesday it was a very rough shop & the weather being so wet made it much worse.  We are a little way back at present & don’t expect to go in again I believe we are going right back for a good rest very soon.

I mean to have a good time too.  Your money will come in fine then.  I am always glad to have a parcel but it is rather fortunate you have not sent one lately as we have been on the move so much.  I hope we shall be settled down in a few days again & I have it a bit easier it has been all work cleaning up &c have not had any leisure time.

You ought to see me now clothes all torn where I caught them on the barbed wire & am feeling very hitchy-koo am looking forward to a bath & a clean change.

Please tell Mrs. Warman & Lilian I have not forgotten their letter I hope they are well.

I think you must excuse more news now as I have so many letters to answer.

Hoping you merry & bright & keeping in the best of health.

Au revoir

With much love

Your devoted

Son

 

P.S. Did Clara receive the two cards I sent the children about three weeks ago or longer.

 

 

F. Springett letter 15 August 1917.

F. Springett letter 15 August 1917.

 

FOR GOD, FOR KING & FOR COUNTRY

Y.M.C.A.

H.M. FORCES ON ACTIVE SERVICE

 

August 15th 1917

Same address

Wednesday evening

 

My Dear Brother Sid,

Just a few lines in answer to your welcome letter of yesterday, so pleased to hear you were quite well as I am still in the pink.  Glad you got back alright, I suppose you are quite settled down by now.

Fancy 33 in a carriage it is a bit too bad, I had a first class all the way from Paddock Wood, they can’t pull soldiers about as they like.  Ha Ha.

I am quite settled down to the usual work again now, we have been trench-digging this last day or two.  I dodged it all yesterday afternoon, but of course you have to be a bit slippery.  Ha Ha.

Glad you have got plenty of work.

Yes you were quite a smoker during the holiday, a cigarette is alright in the army. There is nothing better.

No there don’t seem any truth about us going across yet of course you know we should never go out as a Training Reserve, always a Regiment. I am still in the sixth Brigade, only a different Battn.  There are four Battns to a Brigade.

Yes, if I were at home I would practice all day on that weight.

It was fine sport I enjoyed it very much.

I was in part of that air raid on Sunday. I saw five of them, the guns drove them off.

The guns are a bit too hot I think, for them round this way.

It makes a bit of sport when they come, but of course it is jolly bad when they kill people.

Well, Sid I had a jolly nice parcel from home today, the contents were jolly good.

No Sid I am very well off at present thank you very much, and shall be for a week or two I hope.

I went down to the Palace at Harwich on Saturday it was jolly good. ”Some fine girls on the stage”.  Ha Ha.

Well, Sid I haven’t any more news at present, so I will close hoping this letter finds you quite well.

With Best Love

From Your

Affec Brother

Frank W

Write soon.

 

With cover to Mr S.K. Springett, 29 Bath Road Dartford Kent

Postmarked HARWICH 9.45 AM 16 AU 17

War Diary of AA Laporte Payne 14 August 1917.

War Diary of AA Laporte Payne 14 August 1917.

 

EXTRACTED FROM.

 

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

Correspondence

—————–

 

14th August 1917

R.P. August 14, 1917.

The Sergeant-Major is posting this for me, as he is going on leave. I am fit and well, but the weather is just as bad as ever.