World War One Letters Home August 1916
Arthur is enjoying the weather, blames the Germans for his dirty digs, talks about the "Captain Fryatt" affair, wants nothing to do with the Germans after the war ...
Aug 2nd, 1916
My Dear Mother,
Yrs of july 21st & 26th latter with enclosures to hand. Must have been nice at Turbotston it is always lovely there in fine weather & it all seems to have been a great success …
Having lovely weather here. Cloudless skies, no sign of change. Luckily we have our two cars garaged under large pine trees alongside hospital so it is a perfect spot at the moment. We live in a dirty & very dusty hotel, all these places where the Germans have been are dirty, I mean hotels, & sort of continual passing wagons & cars & troops make it unpleasant & it begins pretty early in morning & often at intervals at night. A lot of houses & places were burnt & destroyed by Germans. Aft. dinner in evg. We always go along the river for a walk in meadows, lovely & woods on opposite side. Air bombardments fairly frequent, one last evg. I see Zepps have been over England again, they say no victims, but I fear we can’t always believe it, but hope it is true.
This murder of Capt. Fryatt has caused much stir, infact I hope K’s [Lord Kitchener] idea is carried out after war & no Germans allowed to come to England for a period & none allowed to be naturalised for 25 yrs. In fact have nothing to do with them. If Allies ever do really win it looks pretty blue for Kaiser, Crown Prince & all leading Generals & people who sanction these things, surely they can never escape hanging.
Yes I’m sure the portrait of Maurice** looks well in hall …
I see great discussions on Ireland are going on, but will they ever agree, very little chance I should think …
Tomorrow 3 English girls who are doing at a small town 15 kilom. from here, what Marion & co were doing at Boulogne for English Tommies, are coming over to drive with us, a young & nice Mrs Goodfellow & 2 other girls, one a pretty little Mifs Carlyle. We often have tea with them when we take over wounded there …
Yr affect son
** Lt. Maurice Dease d 23/8/1914 awarded first VC in WW1, son of Edmund Dease 1st cousin once removed of Arthur
World War One News
The tragedy of war, lots of night work, not sure how long to sign on for, worried about his health over the Winter ...
Sunday Aug 26th, 1916
My Dear Mother
How very sad about poor young Tim O’Brien*, poor Lady O’B so devoted. This war is just one long tragedy.
We are in a little village just behind the lines, cars on the high road & we are billeted about roads all screened to prevent Germans from seeing cars or traffic along it. It has been wet & rather beastly I sincerely trust we shall not be in this sort of place in winter or I shall not last very long.
A goodeal of work, night too, no lights & so on. I believe we are off again on Thursday elsewhere; we are getting very tired of this ever lasting moving & personally I am pretty full up of it all, but I suppose one must keep on at it. Mr Barton goes off on leave to Blois tomorrow, so will escape our next move.
I am due for leave end next month on completion of my 6 months, but I told him I’d probably sign on for another 6 months & take my leave in Dec. instead of end Sep. I fancy there is less chance of my getting rheumatism again if I stay on out here & gradually get used to colder & wetter weather than if I went home & came back end Oct. perhaps into a cold wet spell, which in a place like this would be hopeless.
If I do stay on, I would probably try & get my 3 wks. in Dec. it gives one 2 clear weeks at home, a long way for a short time. I don’t fancy it is easy to get a job at home now, anything worth having being given, very properly, to men wounded or invalided from front & not fit enough to return. This moving about too, has cost one a bit, one generally more or less has to exceed ones allowance per day.
We may remain in this sector or may move north with division I wish they would send us back to a Vosges spot where I rejoined them. Weather should be fairly good for next 6 wks or 2 months. I wish one could sign on for 3 months & return home 1st Jan & come out again in April as I did this year, but they are much stricter now. I fear it is going on for a long time yet, a year or more at least, that seems feeling out here. Our progress is very slow & difficult & I fancy the advance or push has been a disappointment to those in the know, tho’ of course papers make best of it …
I will write to Evie. I don’t suppose she will be called up now, but may help make shells in Rome, I see Italian Govt. have been appealing to students etc to help …
Yr affect son
*Lieutenant Timothy John Aloysius O'Brien
27th Brigade, R.F.A. killed in action Delville Wood 7th August 1916. He was the son of Sir Timothy Carew O'Brien and his wife Gundrered Annette Teresa de Trafford. Both the de Trafford and O'Brien families would have been known to Arthur and his family.