A.A. Laporte Payne letter 14 March 1917.

A.A. Laporte Payne letter 14 March 1917.

 

B.E.F.

France.

Wednesday March 14th 1917

 

Muriel Darling,

 

So very many thanks for your letter and the box of lovely cigarettes. I am of the opinion that they are better than De Reske – perhaps because you chose them.  At any rate the name of them at once attracted me; but they are much too good for me out here on active service.  Such cigarettes ought to be smoked with you in England.

 

Please, miss, you must not sit up late writing to me or you will damage your health which is much more what I want than that you should grow pale and ill burning the midnight oil because, forsooth, a wretched creature in France waits for a letter – even though he longs for them.

 

I am so sorry to hear that Mrs. Cross has such a bad throat and that Mr. Cross has a bad back. They are both better now I hope.

 

Please excuse this paper. I cannot find any other and I simply can’t tear one out of the book properly this afternoon – and paper is so precious now isn’t it?  I must not waste any more government property in throwing form papers away.

 

It is a glorious day to day. I wish I were at home and able to go out for a walk with you.  At present the Boche is shelling – and a shell has just dropped close to the office and lots of bits from aeroplane shells are falling about, so it is not very pleasant going out for a walk here.

 

I don’t see any prospect of leave yet alas! I shall certainly do something desparate soon.  What are the ways in which you say you are not longing for me to come?  I want to know – perhaps they will reconcile me to the waiting which is getting worse and worse.  Nobody is going away from here at present, and I don’t know when they will.  In a short time I suppose leave will be stopped for everyone.

 

Reg is out here now. I heard from him the other day.  I wonder how he will like it.  I have not heard where he is going to yet.

 

Now please burn my last letter and forget all about it. I was very miserable when I wrote it and I imagined all sorts of things.  I was very silly and it was all my imagination, but you see I want you so much to trust me absolutely.  I am anxiously awaiting your reply to my letter.  I wonder what it will be.  I hope it will be a good talking to and then I shall feel better, I am sure.

 

How are you keeping dear? Alright I hope – with nothing to worry you.

 

I have been away for two days on an expedition and have just returned. I went into Belgium.  The country is horrid – so flat and the mud is awful.  It does not look as if it ever would dry again.

 

There is no news to tell you. Things go on much as usual.  I suppose they are the same with you.

 

With all my love and many kisses.

Ever yours

Archie.

Alf Smith letter 13 March 1917

No 27521

Pte. A.A. Smith

1st Essex Regt.

15th I.B.D.

A.P.O. (S24)

B.E.F. France

 

March 13th 17

 

Dear Father

 

Just a few lines to let you know I am quite well.

I had a letter from Albert to-day.  You may guess I was pleased to receive it.  It is the first I have had from home since I have been here.  Did you receive all my letters I wrote I sent two & a P.C.  It seems a long time when one is waiting but I am not the only one there are several men have not received any yet.  I was just wondering if they had gone astray.

Glad to say the weather is much better now. It has been vary cold & windy.

I am very comfortable here now I have got used to it again am having a very good time here.

Well I think I must conclude now.

Hoping you are all in the best of health.

Au revoir

With much love

From your

devoted

Son

 

With Green Envelope Army Post Office S.24 A 14 MR 17. Addressed to T. Smith, 24 Palmerstone Rd., Bowes Park, London N England.  Signed A.A. Smith

 

Alf Smith letter 9 March 1917

Letter on Y.M.C.A WITH THE BRITISH EXPEDITIONARY FORCE headed notepaper with cover to T. Smith, 24, Palmerstone Rd., Bowes Park, London N England.  Postmarked Army Post Office .S.24 ** MR 17.

 

No 27521

Pte. A.A. Smith

1st Essex Regt.

15th I.B.D.

A.P.O. (S24)

B.E.F. France

 

March 9th 17

 

Dear Father

 

Thought I would write again in case you did not receive my previous letter as you would not know what part of the globe to write to.

Pleased to say I am quite well but shall be very glad when it turns warmer; have had several falls of snow since I have been here & the pipes are frozen at present so it is a bit of a job to get a wash.

Cannot stop to write more now. I shall be glad to hear from you.

Hoping you are all in the best of health.

 

With much love from

Your devoted

Son

 

A.A. Laporte Payne letter 8 March 1917.

A.A. Laporte Payne letter 8 March 1917.

 

B.E.F.

France.

March 8th 1917

 

Darling,

 

Your letter came alright just as I wanted and thank you ever so much for it. The first part was just what I wanted.  It proved that you were still thinking of me and that you were well and enjoying life.  I will take things in order as they come in your letter – I am not going to act the schoolmaster though.

 

You seem to be having an amusing time with your visitors. What with Mrs. Tim’s baby (I regret to say I have forgotten her real name) and a walrus and his wife.  I am sure you were not glad to avoid driving the delightful old gentleman to Aldenham.  That in not like you.  I always thought that you were all kindness and would be only too glad to drive any old buffer to his school.  Think of the boring times you had to be polite to someone else and take him for drives.

 

I am so glad you found your gold chain. I should not like that evening to be responsible for the loss of anything.

 

The ‘enclosed’ did amuse me. I saw the card and thought that it would contain a photo of you – imagine my disapointment – how could you be so cruel.  I certainly don’t want it but I am not going to send it back because you made it.

 

I don’t want to hear anything about Humphrey but I suppose the few males that are left must be made the most of during the scarcity!! That’s unkind isn’t it, but it makes me furious to hear of any fellow being where I want to be and can’t.  How shall I shew you what I am really like & then you will know what to expect.  Tell him from me that nursing babies is about all he is fit for.  There!!!! – pray miss why were you ‘mad’ that night – what sort of madness was that?  You see how jealous I am getting! And most disagreeable too.

 

Poor old Bourne! He seems to be in a bad way.  I rather expect the accusor was or rather is a person who is often in that state himself.  It usually takes them that way.

 

If a man wants to marry his deceased wife’s sister why the blazes can’t he do it in a registry office or in a Hindu Temple or something.

 

I am glad you referred to Henley in that way – you evidently believe a bit in him.  Now to come to what I am thinking about.  What has been going wrong, darling?  You must give up ‘thinking’.  You write “I also wonder what it be would be like if we stopped loving each other”.  Now please what has put that into your head?  Is it possible for any one who has truly loved another person to cease caring?  I say no.  I can only think that it came into your thoughts because either you had doubts about yourself or doubts about me – or was it idle speculation? – at any rate it has given me furiously to think.

 

If you had doubts about yourself you will know be honest with yourself and therefore with me. In any case it would make no difference to my loving you whatever you did or did not do.  If my love were worth anything at all it should be quite content to love you whatever happened, and, Muriel, it is, however much I may want you to love me in return, but that is quite secondary and after all purely selfish isn’t it?  And of I ask you to be honest I too must be so – and up to the present I am and mean to be in the future.  I was not precipitate in my love making was I?  It was because, I think, I could love without asking anything in return but when I led you to give something in return it was only if you could and not because I expected it.  I took what the Gods gave me.

 

But there it is. Your words frightened me for the moment in case you should feel that I expected from you more than you could give.  But you can be assured about me.  I never profess to want what I really don’t.

 

Having got that off, I feel much better – you see what I mean don’t you, darling? All I want is that there shall be no misunderstanding.  I ask nothing but what you care to give.  And you can have always what you want from me.

 

There I have never tried so hard to express what I want to say – but I know it is a failure as such. You will, I know, read it in the spirit it is sent.  I don’t care a hang what other people do.  They can fall in and out of love as much as they like.  I have never loved before so I can’t say what it is like doing that sort of thing, but I don’t intend to do it.  I hope I know my own mind now.  But if I should become insane and not love you I will tell you because such a thing cannot last with insincerity.

 

What a blaze your short sentence has caused. Please forgive me all.

 

Now I must stop – all sorts of interuptions are driving me mad.

 

With all my love.

Always yours

Archie.

WAR DIARY of AA Laporte Payne 8 March 1917

WAR DIARY of AA Laporte Payne 8 March 1917

Extracted from

Brigade Diary, Personal Diary, Operation Orders, Note Books, Memoranda
Correspondence
—————–

R.P. March 8, 1917.
It is as cold as it ever has been, and is snowung again now. I am glad of an office to sit in. I am still doing the Adjutant’s work, but I do not know for how long.
I hope you are not finding any dificulty in getting food. We fortunately can rely on our rations, which do not vary much, but we have difficulty in getting fuel, which is very short in this cold weather.

The Colonel and I are alone at Headquarters at present, and as he spends the day out I have to remain here and look after things and deal with any urgent messages.

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.