…suddenly a runaway horse and cart dashed past us and crashed …

D Higgins 1915 IWM18/9/1917                                            HMB

My dearest Mother

How delightful to think that this time three weeks hence, barring accidents, I shall be with you all. I am looking forward to it immensely – I had a letter from Tommy Sandall: he will probably be home for the first week in September so I expect we shall meet which will be ripping as I haven’t seen him since December 1914. I’m glad to hear you got my paper alright. I expect it may arrive any time now.

Tim and I had such an adventure on Sunday – we were out in the country walking and suddenly a runaway horse and cart dashed past us and crashed into a railway arch (where the road went under the line) and turned over. We tore to the spot expecting to find the occupants killed or seriously hurt but found, to our astonishment,  the two women and a very old man on their feet and certainly not badly hurt and dragging a child out by its feet from the bottom of the cart ( a kind of high dog cart) Tim persuaded them to desist and extricated the child ( a little girl of about 10) gently while I held the terrified horse’s head. The horse was lying or rather squatting on the road but quite ready to get up again, a fact which in their terror they entirely forgot. One of the women was quite frantic saying that it wasn’t their little girl and if she was killed they could never face her mother etc. etc. However the kid was merely frightened as it happened. Then one of the women set off with me carrying the kid ( it was a hot day and she a solid little devil) they had no confidence in us although we told them we were infirmieres and she said she we must gointo the village and find a pharmacie.

The woman leant over as we were walking and peered at the child who was lying in my arms with its eyes wide open but looking rather frightened then she said “Ou souffres-tu mon petit Lapin?” “ Je ne souffre pas” replied the kid stolidly. “Mais oui tu souffres” cried the woman in a frantic voice. I laughed so much internally that I nearly dropped the child.

However I hauled it to the Pharmacie and we gave it a drink and sat it in the back yard where it said it was all right but added “Je vais vomir”.

To cut a long story short they had no injuries beyond a few cuts and bruises. It was a marvellous escape.

Janette Taylor is back again here in a soldiers club. She came up here one evening and I had tea with her in town.

My conge paper has arrived safely so all is well.

I must dry up now

Best love from your loving Dorothy

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Mrs T

Beyond the day job, the housework and the garden I love to delve into local and family history. I also love to get involved in local projects. Recent research for Alford Manor House has combined the two and led to obsession.

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