21st March, 1916

Dearest H,

A quick note in case you read anything in the papers, we got into a bit of a scrap the other day on afternoon patrol and HQ is sending a correspondent, I don't want you worrying if you happen to see 20 Squadron or my name in the paper. The Huns have just captured Vimy and things are heating up here in our sector, Fokkers are on the warpath as well. Alan and I have just put in two claims in after the last patrol, an Aviatik (Sort of like a German Be2c but much better organised) and a Fokker.

Alan and I got into a grand old beano with three Fokkers and ended up landing, well, crashing really, near an army camp north of Arras but we're both unharmed so don't worry if you read about it in the newspaper. I say this as I have been ordered to report to Corps HQ to speak with a press correspondent regarding the action over Arras. Neither Alan nor I thought much of our scrap at the time except for regret that our dear old Fee had to be driven home on the back of a tender but it seems that HQ wants a positive story to counter the bad news about Vimy I suppose and, rumour has it that some Froggy chap recently raised his score of victories to ten so, if our victories are confirmed, that will put Alan and I at a total of six and give our papers a chance to show the people at home that the RFC is keeping its' end up and not being outdone by a bunch of wine swilling Frenchmen.

I'm sending this missive with one of the troops who is going home for training as an observer. We often take NCO's up and show them the ropes just to maintain an emergency reserve. He's a good lad, name of Sergeant Darling. He's not a public school boy so he may feel somewhat out of his element at the estate. Make sure that he gets a good meal before he leaves and please do try not be too embarrassed if he insists on calling you 'ma'am' or 'your ladyship', which he may. Have old Tom lunch with you both and then drive him to Farnborough in the motor.

Also, we're running a little short of various sundries here. If you could arrange to have the following list delivered to Clairmarais then all of us here should be eternally grateful:

1 x Cricket bat, the last one got broken on mess night.
A dozen gramophone records (The chaps here love 'Rag', you'll know best what to get.)
10 x safety razors.
A crate of plum jam, marmalade or whatever conserves are available.
A case of whisky.
A case of stout.
5 x tins of pipe tobacco

Use my chequing account with Lloyds to pay for it all please dear and have Harrods deliver them using my name. I will also be writing to Lloyds to increase the household funds and transferring a sum in your account to provide for you in the event that any of the help get drafted or sent to do war work which I now feel is inevitable, please let me know if and when you require more money sooner rather than later should things get tight. I don't want my dear little tulip going without, war be damned. Enjoy the spring my love, I'll be home on leave as soon as I can manage it but, with the way things are right now, you may not be hearing from me for a while.

Yours, with ardour and devotion,

Archie.


Let's pretend I got the BWOC badge to embed here.

Wenn ihr sieg im deine Kampf selbst gegen, wirst stark wie Stahl sein.