28th October 1918 HMB
My dearest Mother
A lovely long letter from you yesterday, dated the 20th and another today, dated the 23rd. We are still frantically busy: a new convoy comes in about twice a week which keeps things up to fever pitch. Don’t worry about the x-ray work: I am always tucked away behind a protective screen so there is no danger what so ever.
“Deutschland uber alles” is sung to that beastly Austrian National Anthem tune. There’s no hurry about the other stockings: I’m quite well off so far. The interesting enclosure was a betise of mine. You said “ another little bit of interest” referring no doubt to the small sum of post office interest on War loan, I mis-read it and thought it was some racy scrap of scandal or newspaper cutting !!
I realised afterwards that I had not understood your meaning !!
I am very sorry to hear about Billy Humphrey’s: it is rotten luck for such a lad, but he is probably safe which is deja quelquechose in these days.
No 20 is at Carmiers, between Etaples and Boulogne but nearer the former.
Granny’s Mary is bad luck too: she looked so extraordinarily well when we saw her. I remember the Barlow boy: a very shy gawky youth he used to be. It is wonderful how soon they learn to write with their left arm.
I’m glad to hear such splendid accounts of Jack: he is having a pretty busy time I expect. I’m sorry to hear that Bunny is naughty again and tries her mother so much, but I am still surprised that M doesn’t manage to get “up-sides” of her.
I am glad to hear about Arthur Green, I wondered what had happened to him. Tell Mrs C H H to tell him that it is never called Albert ! Hospital now; always Anglo-Belge or Militaire Belge. He could have tea with me at the club if I can get off. It is dreadfully painful having a limb amputated: all the nerves seem to jump and dance. & one feels one’s toes or fingers hurting months after they are gone !
I didn’t know young Moohman had had shellshock: rather tragic for such a hefty young fellow! Has anyone heard of Tommy Roberts and if he is still queer and paralysed ? The species of sugar doesn’t matter a bit: the chief thing is to have it. Two lbs will be ample. I’ll let you know how to get it to me: I may have a trustworthy patient coming on leave soon, but I am not sure.
I expect I can get the bigger dividend cashed at Cox’s and the little one at the A P.O. & I shall get the certificates with them which will save trouble.
Well I suppose the world is so upside down and after war life is going to be such an utter change from pre-war life, that women MPs are only a drop in the deluge of alterations which are to come, but God help any constituency that is fool enough to elect a woman as their member. Women in authority are autocratic tyrants !
I had a most thrilling box from Isabel last night containing a flat platinum safety pin with my initials on it: a pair of gold and mother of pearl sleeve links with naval emblems in their middles, a gold Red Cross brooch: two silk hankies and several tiny things. She says it is arrears of what she would have liked to give me when she was poor and couldn’t. I am quite overwhelmed!! Ann has left and gone back to her.
We are still living a hectic existence: we have got some extra staff but not enough, and more are coming, these things all take time. If the heads of the Belgian medical service had warned us that they intended to turn us into a surgical base hospital, we could have made arrangements but we had no warning whatsoever. The poor chap I told you about with the thoracic wound went West about 5 days ago: his other lung go infected. It was almost more merciful so, as he would have been such a ghastly wreck had he survived.
We had a jubilant letter from one of my late assistant orderlies who has rejoined his regiment: they are just outside Ghent. He is tired but full of beans morally.
I am very fit in spite of my labours. Tell father that I will write to hime in a few days. The photos haven’t come yet.
No more now: I am going to sleep the sleep of the just!!
Best love to you all
Your loving Dorothy.