Unfortunately one was only allowed to walk in the castle grounds…

Claude Monet’s 1899 The Waterlily Pond, green harmony. In Gisor Dorothy describes the sparkling River Epte, Monet’s Water Lilies series was created and inspired by diverting a branch of the Epte to a section of his gardens.

06/08/1917                                                         HMB

My Dearest Mother

This will be an awful scribble: both my hands are bound as I have got what they think is Urticaria(nettle-rash) but what tickles like the devil anyway- I haven’t slept properly for two nights as I wake up every minute (it seems) I have a terrific struggle not to scratch.

07/08/1917  I am better and have slept a decent nights dose last night. The doctors here seemed helpless so Matron sent me down to my friend at No 2, Dr Eaton who pronounced it a form of Urtcaria. It is probably something bad in the food tins that has caused it as nearly everyone has had internal derangements of some kind and the men had an epidemic of dysentery in a mild form. However all is well that ends well. I had it all over both hands and a little on my neck. It has been most inconvenient for my work and I am still wearing gloves, which you know I hate !! though I can do without a dressing on.

Who do you think passed me in the streets of Rouen yesterday, fortunately without recognising me? Freddy Crofts of Skegness !  I gave Tim a lightening sketch of our hockey encounters which amused her not a little. He looks just as dreadful a little counter jumper as ever and was talking in that high pitched cockney voice of his very volubly to another man. He is in the ASC so I expect he is stationed at Rouen. Do tell Collie and Mrs C that I have seen him: you need not reproduce my further comments !!

How are Jack Nichols and Tommy ! I at once jumped to the conclusion that the latter had been having trouble with his floating rib again when you said he had had an op. He will have quite a long sick leave after appendicitis I expect.

We cleared  out a lot of men last month but are filling up again now.

I don’t think I told you about our trip to Gisors. Our Sunday off last month was the 22nd of July and Saturday the 21st was the Belgian National Fete so no treatments. We electric nurses helped on the wards in the morning and were free for the rest of the day. We got Matron’s permission and packed our haversacks and set off on our bikes to Gisors, 54 kilometres away (about 35 miles) at 1:30. It is a very pretty run, we had a puncture on Tim’s bike and a little trouble of that kind and what with looking at churches, getting drinks (a hazing hot day) and so forth it was just 8 when we arrived. We found a very nice little hotel there which looks on to the market square (which is triangular) where the Epte (one of three tiny rivers which flow through the town) goes sparkling along. The town is an awfully interesting old place. It has a feudal castle which is extraordinarily fine. Unfortunately one was only allowed to walk in the castle grounds as all the towers were employed for military purposes. I sent you a picture postcard of Gisors: did you get it?

The cathedral church is also the most extraordinarily bitty place, partly Gothic and partly Renaissance: it is more curious than pretty in some parts but it is very interesting all the same. The hotel de Ville was an old convent and is also very fascinating, there are some fascinating old houses and streets and we loved poking about there. They were very kind to us at the hotel and treated us splendidly- we set off on our return journey about 2:30 and Tim had another puncture. However we got it mended en route and after halts for tea and supper and sundry other things we got home about 9:15. We enjoyed ourselves enormously and weren’t tired at all. The weather is simply vile just now and the rain is dashing all our flowers to bits. By the by will you ask Mrs Baron to get me two sets of stripes : when one has four dresses, four coats and four to put on each, 10bits are a drop in the ocean.


I must stop now

Best love to both

Your loving daughter 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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