Our advance and offensive is splendid but the sacrifice is terrible ………..

IMG_20150426_000228/09/1916 HMB

My Dearest Mother

I am ashamed to have left you so long without news but I have been dreadfully busy. My faithful assistant Nick (Miss Nicholson) is on leave and I have been dealing with my work and training two other nurses their job. One came up to be with me while Nick was away and one of the ward nurses comes in two afternoons a week to learn the work as it is so necessary in case any of us are ill that someone should know something. My job is considered one of the most important and I think I may say without undue swank that the medical chief and my boss are both pleased with me and the way I do my job. Think of me next Sunday writing my report statistics and generally juggling with figures. I hate the end of the month, it is an awful grind.

Thank you so much for the bi-weekly papers: they really are great joy and I do appreciate them so much. I am glad the Marshall girl’s sister turned up alright: is it the rather dressy superior one that was at Bee’s hospital?

I suppose you had to call in on old Jake’s successor in your official capacity. Is he a gentleman or a bounder and what kind of GP?

What a sudden affair having Molly as soon. I wish I could be home when she comes. Poor girl she has paid dearly for her own way. Please be as gentle with her as you can, I expect she isn’t very happy. Poor little beggars it isn’t their fault that Robin is their father, anyway I think they are nice kids, and don’t hurt her by being unkind about her babies which are of course everything to her. I don’t think she’ll be such a fool as to go after the boys: I shouldn’t worry on that score. I don’t think you must call him a brute for volunteering: look at the casualty lists and think of what we must have to fill their places. Our advance and offensive is splendid but the sacrifice is terrible and just staggers one- Poor Molly and poor you and Father: he whole affair is very trying I wish I could be home to help. Be as gentle as you can with her: I think she has suffered pretty heavily for what she did and you are very frightening you know dear. You seem much harder and less sympathetic than you are, because you are shy and afraid to let go of your reserve. I was afraid of you once, before you let me have a peep or two behind the scenes, but I’m all right now, and I know what a dear sweet thing you are.

Now to switch on to clothes. The chessboard tulle and poinsettia hats may go. Not the black lace summer one with the crimson rose I want it and also the black velvet tammy: I am so fond of it. The other summer ones may go bar panamas and liberty’s. Don’t send the plain crimson straw with the black ribbon it might be useful. The heliotrope serge coat may go but not the skirt. I don’t remember the old dark blue but it may go. Keep the hockey skirt please. The Aunt Lizzie coat may go but not the skirt. Not Molly’s old dark grey, it may be useful – Not white serge skirt – light blue satin evening dress may go. I am afraid I am a hoarder but it is difficult to decide without trying on and seeing.

You must forgive such a servant but I am writing in bed and it is much easier in pencil. I am afraid Jack Nichols wants a bit more work to keep him out of mischief, is his leg all right?

Father tells me Captain Shaw is home. He is very lucky about leave.

I am so sorry my bulb order was so much. Please cut out the Camassias if they haven’t already been sent off and a doz. M. Lillies will do. Anyway I shall bring them all back with me some day. You sent me a doz. Fritillaria Aurora and I didn’t ask for them so you musn’t add that to my score.

I’m afraid you are having a fearfully busy time alone, I wish I could help you.

The Zepp business was a good egg wasn’t it. We were so awfully bucked.

We are terrifically busy with the garden. We have got a bed between our sleeping hut and the mess; it is planted with daffodils from Tim’s home then oversown with alyssum from mine and a border of forgetmenots.  We are very busy thinning these. Then the first garden under the windows of our sleeping hut looks quite gay still with Michaelmas daisies, heleniums, and harpalium rigidum and in another bed we have a patch of annual larkspurs, a late sowing that are doing very well.


I must stop now or I shall miss the post.

Best love dearest people

From your loving Dorothy.

Will send and return letters in a day or two.

Published by

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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