21st April 1916
My dearest Mother
Thank you very much for your letters and everything. I’m glad the basket got there alright: it is fine thing isn’t it? You owe me 6/9 altogether with postage and everything. Yes I would like the garments there returned when whole – I was much tickled at the tobacco: I got the box from a Osry Strait-bas [?] girl: she is on leave now I shall rag her well when she comes back.
We are crazy on gardening and getting things ready for Bonsecours. The hut we shall sleep in is already up and we are making quarter sickle beds. We have already made one and put in a rambling rose against each wall. Tim and I went up on Tuesday last and dug the quarter circle and planted it with a few things. Thursday we took up a lusty comrade and the three of us set to work on the long bed or border. We pegged it out with string and with great labour succeeded in completing a piece about as large as a dog’s grave !! It doesn’t sound much but we are inordinately proud of it. By complete I mean sods cut off and the ground properly dug and trenched to a depth of two feet. We cut the sods off quite a long way and set them aside. Then there was a lot of twitch to get out so it all took time. But it is so ripping having a garden to look after and play with Tim and I are fearfully keen. We have been appointed hospital gardeners and mean to do our very best to make it look smart and jolly.
Will you please pack a packing case or hamper with the plants ( I’m sending you a list) and address it to Mrs Macdonald, college of ambulance, Vere St W. and put on it “for Miss Higgins Anglo Belge, Rouen” “to be called for” and a girl who is returning this next week will call there for it. But it must be with Mrs M by the 27th as the girl is crossing on the 28th. The weather is simply vile it rains nearly all day and every day. Next Monday is a holiday for the men, and therefore a holiday for the likes of me who give treatments, so I expect a gang of us will go up in the morning and start work and more will come up in the afternoon, and so we shall get a lot done.
It is a regular city this hospital. Water, electric light, gas telephone and tram all of its own. The tram line goes round below the bluff on which the huts are built and they have made a branch line coming right into the hospital.
There isn’t much news. Tim is very busy with operations every day (she is in the ward where all the operated cases go in for preparation and come to afterwards till they are better). There is a man who had a phlegmon out at Grival: he was brought in here and operated on: they made five or six long incisions for drainage in his foot and the arteries are so rotten that they kept sloughing away and he has had 3 bad haemorrhages. However they have ligatured the arteries higher up his leg now and he is better but still very ill and with a face like wax: he is such a dear good patient old thing we hope he’ll get all right.
22nd April 1916
The primroses and daffs are over now and the bluebells are in full swing: we don’t go out in the woods much now as we are so busy with our garden.
I will write to Mrs Macdonald and tell her the case is coming and will tell the girl to call and fetch it. I don’t think I’ve asked for anything on my list that you haven’t got: if I have don’t bother about it. Do send as much as you can: the things marked with an * are specially wanted.
A year ago today since I came here – what a long time.
Best love to you and Father and best wishes for Easter: I wish I could spend it with you.
Your loving Dorothy
Will you send the 6/9 to B and ask her to send me 200 Carly Club cigarettes through Martins as I’m cleaned out. You’ll have to make it 10/- by the way. Better ask her as she can get them sent out in bond and its no trouble.
Also some more Glymiel please.
Plants – please put names inside packets
Golden Rod, Catananche, Centaurea Montana Blue, Iceland Poppy (plants)*,Helianthus, Pansies and Violas*
Cerastium*, Lychus, Meconopsis cambrica*, Phlox, Geum, Mallow (white)*, Sidalcea*, Achillea ptarmica*,
Sweet Rocket, Digitalis*, Doronicaum, Erigeron, Gaillardia*, Gypsophila (one of my little plants)
Alyssum Saxatile*, Anchusa*, Antirrhinum*, Arabis fl.pl*, Thrift*, Michaelmas Daisies, Delphinium, Calystegia*
Campanula persicifolia & pyramidalis*
Tropaeolum (the red kind of the Lake District), Nemesia, Myosotis, Mixed Sweet Peas
Ryders PP Catalogue
Please send seeds and Ryders catalogue as soon as possible