Dorothy’s War – The Centenary of Waterloo

D Higgins 1915 IWM


My Dearest Mother

The centenary of Waterloo: how I wish we could have another victory. It is funny to think that had I been in Rouen in 1815, it would have been in prison!

I have had rather a go of hay fever the last few days: it is a nuisance, nothing more. I hope the hospital is going on well. Father asked me if there were fish in the Seine, I do not know what sort but I think there must have been a fish seen sometime because I often see rows of patient anglers, but never never have I seen anything being dragged out!!

The mauve things behind the alliums were probably muscari comosum plumosum. Had they a kind of untidy hair appearance not at all like  the other muscari ?

The other day Miss Crane ( commonly known as Melisande) Tim Anwyl and I went with Col. Moore to La Bouille again, about 10 days ago. He is a friend of Melisande’s a nice old boy: he is doing train conducting ( like Captain Bertrand) as he is a “dug-out.” [colloq, old soldier dug out of retirement]

He was in Skinner’s Horse (3rd Bengal Cavalry) and spent 28 ( I think) years in India. He knows Molly B quite well and B of Hamilton and the Black and Tan. He also knew Col. Cole and had been up to Manipur many years ago for shooting so knew it. It was jolly talking to him: I’ve got some good photos with him in, which I will be able to show you some day. He was a funny old stick: he is very lonely here and told someone afterwards that he had intensely enjoyed his afternoon with us.

Miss Brodie is ill with measles: she has been very seedy indeed, as after she became measly they took her to a French hospital and they did not look after her at all well there, so one of our sisters who was having a holiday has gone up to nurse her. She was joined 3 or 4 days ago by one of our doctors so she has two measley patients on her hands. It is rotten luck being mewed up in a rotten French place with a thing like measles: it would bore me stiff, especially as Miss Brodie has had them so severely.

I have made great friends with Tim Anwyl she is the one you liked the look of when we went off from Victoria. She is an exceptionally nice girl, very Celtic but unlike most Welsh people, very delightful. She is a very clever person and draws and paints well: is of a thoroughly artistic temperament and very distinguee. I am very fond of her and she of me. She is very upset just now as her best man friend ( he would undoubtedly have married her later on ) has been killed in the Dardanelles. He is the brother of her great friend, the big girl in the blue hat who saw her off. Her own brother, a captain in the Welsh Fusiliers is going out to the Dardanelles ( en route now) this week: it is dreadful for her, poor girl.

We are rather upset: Lady Samuelson a nurse (VAD) here, died of syncope in her room last night. She was a very nice old soul, not a good nurse, and rather eccentric, but very kind and awfully generous. She was a hearty (diseased ) subject I believe. It is really a happy release as she had two husbands, both dead, her favourite daughter also, and her two sons, one killed in South Africa and one about a month ago. Poor old thing.

I’m keeping Elsie’s letter to me as I haven’t answered it yet.

By the by, I’ve broken my monocle: have you got the prescription ? If so could you get me another made ? You’ll have to wait till I send you a p.c. with the dimensions of the frame on it.

I must stop to catch the mail.

Best Love your loving D.

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Mrs T

Beyond the day job, and the garden, I love to delve into local and family history. While pursuing one project other snippets frequently distract me, resulting in the eclectic mix of tales from the past found here.

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