Everyone raves about the South and it is such a tremendous opportunity to see the Riviera in the season …

The Grand Hotel du Cap Martin became a Michelham Convalescent Home for British Officers:
     “Lady Michelham has taken over the hotel and pays all expenses for 200 officers, each staying for a fortnight or three weeks. It is run exactly like a hotel with civilian waiters.”

26/02/1919   Villa Roquebrune

My Dearest Mother

I received your letter of the 20th yesterday. You do seem to be having the most awful strafe with servants: what a curse they are. I wish I could help you but even over here the question is becoming acute.

I have looked everywhere for the Times marked by M: I didn’t forget it at all but I haven’t seen it and I haven’t missed a bundle. I thought she must have decided to keep it. I’ll look again when I get back. I got the papers here thanks very much for them. If Mrs Loy is laid up surely they will have the sense to make Mrs Marshall up. Where is Nellie Marshall now? They have demobbed 4 or 5 military hospitals at Rouen.

I know I am in disgrace with Tommy: I really have had such a lot on my hands lately that I haven’t had a minute for letters. You ask why I am on leave: well four months have elapsed since my last leave and since the armistice they are not so strict and, as a lot of people have terminated in our unit, it was really my turn for leave. Everyone raves about the South and it is such a tremendous opportunity to see the Riviera in the season and it doesn’t cost me a bean except what I am spending on motor drives and so forth. I’m not in the least ill, I was very tired after “the push”  but I picked up days ago.

Really the flu seems to have started off full tilt again: I am awfully sorry about Nancy Scott. I think it was Saturday when I wrote my last letter. Sunday morning four of us (all VADs) took our lunch down to the beach: there is a small strip of shingle between the rocks. There we were joined by three officers from the Michelham Convalescent Home at Cap Martin: it is only about 20 minutes walk, and 10 minutes in the tram from us. They also brought their lunch so we had a royal feast and then lay on our backs and basked in the sun. After that we climbed up to the old village at Roquebrune: about half way up the mountain side above us and only accessible by a small path. It is a most fascinating village with all the houses jumbled higgledy-piggledy on top of each other and the streets are narrow alleys going through archways under the houses. There is quite a fine ruined castle there which we duly explored and sat on the ramparts for some time watching the clouds scudding over the tops of the neighbouring peaks and looking out over the gorgeous blue blue sea. Then we finally started to go down and an ancient woman appeared from nowhere: one of the men was being very polite and opening a gate for her when she suddenly stooped down and she got her head bumped. She was furious and cursed him up hill and down dale in the most extraordinary patois. He looked so uncomfortable poor man that we all burst out laughing. Then we came back to the villa and tidied ourselves and went off to tea with this party at the cap. The Michelham home is a huge hotel on the very tip of the cap and they have an MO or two, a Matron, 2 Sisters and 4 VADs as staff. They have 200 convalescent officers, all sorts from pip squeaks to Generals. They are all of them up and about of course, lots of these are convalescing from broncho=pneumonia. They have a huge lounge there and can invite their friends to tea and so we all trotted in and had tea and listened to music. They have a fiddle and piano which discourses sweet music to them and on Sunday as a special treat Mr Moody of the Moody-Manners Open Company ( he is a Captain in the RASC down there convalescing) sang to us. He has a lovely voice and sang several songs delightfully.

Well I will stop and catch the post with this and write again describing our trip to San Remo of which I hope you will have received the post cards sent from there.

Best Love to you all your loving Dorothy.

PS: I am so glad to hear of Robin’s safe return, I thirst to hear his adventures.

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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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