Europe Forums

Start a new topic Change Forum
Advanced search

Trip Report A Duty Nobly Done — Anselm and Margriet in Flanders and Picardy

Jump to last reply

May 10, 1915

My Dearest Mamma

Here’s my letter block so why shan’t I write to you. This is a rummy place up here where I am waiting with nothing particular to do for the time – desolation – a street with a few farm cottages old bricks strewn everywhere and tiles and a few odds and ends of equipment a scratch cradle tangle of old telephone lines repaired in every direction hung up against odd poles & festooned against houses – a great pile of trench work, some pollards cut about by shrapnel a group of soldiers graves. Behind my chair an estaminet (pub.) and behind them orchards, trenches, noman’s land – and the Germans. A lovely day for it all & I swear the only vile thing is the Bosch – I have been down here since 3 A.M. My nicest subaltern will be here to join me or relieve me shortly – If he doesn’t come soon I shall be asleep. What a glorious time of the year you must have been having at home & how much I wish I were back with [you]. I cant believe that I was there 10 days ago or a fortnight. Do send me news of John when next you write. I am looking forward to hearing of him. He must have had some experience lately. We had a most unpleasant day yesterday. I hope it won’t be repeated. Gs dont seem to have much artillery opposite however. I hope you are having a pleasant time at Littlehampton.
J. L.
H.B.C. Arthur

Henry Bartle Compton Arthur—my wife’s Great Uncle Harry—was an artillery major during the Great War. We have fifty of the letters he sent to his mother and sister while serving on the Western Front. This one was written from his observation post in the ruins of a village, probably Neuve Chapelle, the day after the Battle of Aubers Ridge. About 12,000 British soldiers were killed, wounded, or missing; it had been, as he said, “a most unpleasant day.”

In November we followed Harry through Flanders and Picardy. We’ll write about that, and then add a few notes on hotels and restaurants in Belgium and northern France. For those uninterested in war history, come back in a while and we’ll post about a new apartment we rented in Paris, plus a couple more restaurants reviews. Somewhere along the way we’ll put in a link to our pictures and finish with a bit of advice on maps, guides, and research.

96 Replies |Back to top

| Add a Reply

Sign in to comment.

Recent Activity

  • Announcement:
  • Fodor's 100 Hotel Award Winners Announced
    by Emily_D Fodor's Editor | Posted on Sep 17, 14 at 01:05 PM
View all Europe activity »
  1. 1 Planning 18 day euro trip HELP
  2. 2 paris apartment opinion airbnb
  3. 3 Portugal and Spain itinerary help -- 11 days in the end of Nov. 2014
  4. 4 US looking into preclearance at European airports
  5. 5 Madrid Apartment Rentals
  6. 6 Trip Report Spain (Practical) Trip Report
  7. 7 Paris Markets for a 5 Course Meal
  8. 8 VAT Refund at Milan Malpensa T1
  9. 9 30 day Multi-Country Europe Trip in June- PLEASE HELP WITH ITINERARY!!!
  10. 10 Trip Report Trip Report : North of Spain
  11. 11 Are you following Scotland's upcoming vote on independence?
  12. 12 Can you recommend great Gastro Pub in ondon
  13. 13 January in Ireland: Recommendations on Lodging?
  14. 14 Three Week Graduation Trip to Amsterdam, Bruges, Berlin, and Paris
  15. 15 Scotland Votes "No"
  16. 16 Has anyone used a Tour Guide in Sicily?
  17. 17 Why I can't make train seat reservation from Dresden to Berlin
  18. 18 Maitaitom & Tracy's Romantic 20th Anniversary Paris 2014 Trip In September
  19. 19 Is it worth driving around Southern Tuscany if we don't drink wine?
  20. 20 Hurtigruten Cruise excursions alternatives, coast of Norway
  21. 21 Air France strike is extended until 26 September
  22. 22 Trip Report A bit MORE of the Camino de Santiago
  23. 23 Munich Hotel - Stay at the Westin or Sheraton Westpark?
  24. 24 3 adults in a Triple room at Hotel Attalos- crazy?
  25. 25 Pre-Trip Jitters!
View next 25 » Back to the top