“Entre Nous” I am fed to the teeth with all this buttering up of the Americans …

A formal portrait of a group of United States Army Medical Officers at Rouen, probably from US Army Base Hospital No 21, attached to No 12 General Hospital of the BEF, situated at the Champs des Courses racecourse                        © IWM (Q 2327)

10th July 1918  HMB

My Dearest Father

Thank you very much for money in large quantities which has just arrived, and for which I am most grateful.

I have written, full of wrath, to Bradley: they have left a large piece of my 3 speed gear behind in England and the mechanic here can’t fix it up with a part missing. So I have written direct to him and told him to get it and send it along as soon as possible.

Perhaps Mother would stir him up a bit if she happens to be passing, and also get me some more valve tubing as I passed the bit on to the Commandant. I don’t want any larger a bit than she sent before.

Please thank Mother for paying Pennell’s bill, seeds are very precarious this year and then the drought has been the limit.

I am very glad that Alf Nainby has had to go, but it is most inconvenient as I wanted half a dozen of the photos he took of me 18 months ago. I suppose it is quite impossible to get at them or Ada. I hope Walter will be able to get WJH off for you: it is really rather ridiculous taking a man like that.

We had lots of heavy showers yesterday and to-day and it is much cooler; last week, Sunday especially, was roasting.

I flew up to No 8 on Monday to find that Lionel Morris had left for Blighty a week before! The Greyhound is at No 25. I haven’t run across her yet, thank the Lord.

Our gardens look rather jolly though the plants are short perhaps owing to the drought. I have had the most magnificent anchusa plants: they have been a mass of blue and the pink & scarlet sweet Williams have been ripping too.

We haven’t had any raids lately: there was one about a week or 10 days ago and nothing since.

The Italians have done jolly well haven’t they: things are looking a bit brighter than they were, thank heaven. Entre Nous I am fed to the teeth with all this buttering up of the Americans, though I’m afraid it is certain that if they hadn’t come along we should have been in the “Kart”.

Is Mrs Rawnsley still at Calais? It isn’t exactly a health resort I believe. Has Nellie Marshall come home yet or is she still in town at her hospital ?

Would you look up in Kelly and see if you can find anything about a family of Mitfords who live in Cadogan Square. We have got one here: a huge tall girl and jolly.

Also we have got a Bartholomew from Edinburgh: one of the map people, quite a nice kid.

After having been the baby and the senior VAD for 18 months, there are now 3 or 4 younger than I. We are really under the Joint War Committee now and can get VADs for the hospital quite easily. Four of our most undesirable people are leaving, and another silly blighter which makes five, and we have quite Christian people in their stead so we are very bucked about it. We are thrilled to the marrow: Short who has been here two years (a silly gushing would be artistic type who wrote to Mother once and has a thumping opinion of herself) has just got engaged to one of the doctors, a hugely fat man with a beard who looks forty and is in reality only a year older than I: and certainly 6 or 7 years younger than she. He has just got his discharge from the army. He has been here about 18 months and she has nursed in one of his wards for over a year.

How she can I don’t know. He is a very decent sort, but still: I disapprove most heartily of international marriages. The Belgian nurse, Fuzzy, is getting married in about a fortnight’s time to one of her own countrymen. She will stay on here, but Short is going home.

There is a terrible dove-cot atmosphere about the place: I hope it wears off soon.

I’m glad to hear that M & Co are having nice weather at Sutton. How trying for Robin to have the measles. We have odd clutches of Boche prisoners in here: there is a camp of them near Rouen who work for the Belgians and when they have an accident or go sick they come here and live in a small hut under guard. The nurse who has to do with them speaks German very well and doesn’t mind much: I, thank God, never come near them.

I must stop now

Best love to you all

your loving D


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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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