We had a very lively time last week: 4 raids in 7 days …


Hun Plane Caught in Searchlights  …       David M Carlile

7th June 1918 HMB

My dearest Mother

I missed the post with my letters and the photos so I have kept it back another 24 hours and am writing you a second letter. I had a letter from Tim two days ago: her brother has been invalided out so her mind is more at rest. He is staying with her at friends down at Kingfield and having treatment.

By the by will you have my bikes guts despatched by registered post or something safer and more expeditious than ordinary parcel post.

I was thrilled to the marrow to hear of the Rennells move, why did they do it and when: do write more on this subject: I had no idea of it.

My hay-fever is awful just now: however I don’t let it bother me too much.

I can’t talk about the hospitals being bombed: it makes me choke with rage. We have got 3 or 4 Boche prisoners: accident cases up from a labour camp near here and we have to have them here. I have nothing to do with them thank heaven, but I believe they are most respectful and very well behaved. Is “Nellie Washbourn still swinging the lead” perhaps the raid will shake some patriotism into her.

I’m jolly glad Mrs Baron has got a medal, I must write and congratulate her. She wrote me a very nice letter about mine. I am glad to hear Ford has got home safely. We had a very lively time last week: 4 raids in 7 days (2 were very small ones) We all scuttle out and patrol the wards at least there are always 4 or 5 of us have to. I do from choice as I like to see what is going on. Some of the men are terrible scared poor devils especially those who have been wounded by aeroplane bomb or bombed at Calais in hospital, as many of them are, and it seems to cheer them up when we come round: they are awfully funny and always ask if we are frightened! It is ripping to go down to the ridge at the end of the hospital and see the searchlights and the flashes of the guns and hear the shrapnel bursting.

The aeroplanes came very close over the hospital one night when they were going away and several times we have heard their engines. However we’ve been quite slack this week only one visit at the beginning of the week.

My anchusas are a sight: absolutely huge. The pink and scarlet sweet Williams are coming out too and the garden really looks quite gay but there is such a lot of watering to do.

I had dinner or supper rather at no.6 Vet hospital about 3 weeks ago on a Sunday night at the officers’ mess. They picked me up tramping home and there was an awfully jolly girl chauffeur and they asked us in to supper. The C.O. was a Captain Greg (Grieg?) who is a Board of Agriculture man for East Anglia (for animals) an awfully nice chap. There was also a Captain Haig or Haigh who knew Mr Carnley, Jack Fox, Major Allott and his son, the Marsdens and all our local celebrities. He had stayed in our neighbourhood and hunted.

I must dry up now

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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