Dorothy’s War – Hallo, Hallo who’s your lady friend

D Higgins 1915 IWM

05/08/1915                                                                                                                             Rue St Lo

My Dearest Father

It is certainly your turn for a letter as I know my last two were to Mother. I am writing in the flat with the windows open listening to “Tipperary”, “Hallo,Hallo who’s your lady friend”, and innumerable songs of that description rendered, as only the English Tommy can render them, by the freight of a trooper which has just glided up against the quay, opposite to us in the darkness.

I am very busy these days: I work hard from 9-5 with about an hour off at lunch time and after that I am free – George Walcott has been up at No2 Hospital ( officers hospital) for nearly a fortnight. He ate something bad when he was up at the front and he has felt seedy all the time he has been here.  As it got worse he thought he might as well try and get himself right while he was waiting down here, so they took him up to the hospital and they found he was suffering from a poisoned inside and has been undergoing a rigorous starvation. However he is now convalescent and came up to see me this afternoon.

I have Mrs Garrard  in the electric room with me now: she gives the baths and helps generally, while I give the faradic and galvanic currents ( a sort of electric massage) and the high frequency treatment and help with the X-ray photographs.

I should be grateful for a little more money: I hope you don’t think I have got through my first instalment very fast: I don’t think I’ve been wildly extravagant. I must go to bed now as I’m awfully sleepy.


I shall be fearfully busy this morning as my colleague Mrs Garrard has had to go to England to see her husband before he goes to the front.

I am very glad that Granny is so well: please give her my love. Tell Mother that I should very much like to have the “National Song Book” if she can spare it , but if it is an awful wrench to part from it , she is on no account to send it to me. My monocle has come back and I am returning the prescription. I am afraid this is only a short letter, but I find it easier to write often and short.

I’m so glad the Grammar School affair was a success.

A new VAD has just arrived: quite a dear person. I wish I could send you some of my photos that I’ve taken here, but I’m afraid it is impossible.

I must stop now

With best love to you all

Your loving Dorothy.

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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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