We are much less short of food in France than in England …

A diagram of rationed food during World War One

In 1918 the Government finally introduced rationing (2lb of meat, ½ lb sugar and ½ lb total fats each a week)    BBC

Hospital Militaire Bonsecours

26/1/1918

My dearest Mother

Thank you so much for your ripping long letter. I am sorry you have had such a rotten time victualling just now: anyway I suppose you have a better time than the people in the big towns.

It is very simple for us as the wretched quartermaster lieutenant has to worry it all out: but we are much less short of food in France than in England I think: things are obtainable here, at a price of course. Bread and sugar are short the French eat a tremendous lot of bread and feel the privation.

We have less butter than we are used to and only two lumps of sugar a day. Of course if we have a pudding that wants sugar they give us a ration for that.

I will write to John and Elsie and thank them for their kind present. Isabel Beatty and I went to Paris for Sunday last week; I spent some of Father’s Christmas present on that. We went on Saturday night by the express and spent the night at a ripping little hotel the Prince de Galles close to the Gare st Lazare and the next day we went out to Versailles and spent the day rooting about there. We got back to Paris in the afternoon and did a little shopping and came back here by the evening express.

We have been playing hockey this week on the gymnastic ground which is cinders and much too small, but it is great sport. I am horribly stiff at present. The sweater arrived quite safely may thanks. Are there any more Christian hockey sticks at home: if there are I must get someone to bring them out as we are a bit short of weapons.

I have had quite an orgy of ops lately: I went to see an appendix hiked out and two nerve ops during the last ten days. I have quite got over my theatre sickness now and can stand and watch quite comfortably and it is more trying to loaf about and watch than to help.

I have been awfully busy this week the orderly who arranges the doctors daily visit is ill in bed and I have had to make the lists of patients to be called for the doctor’s morning visit (all men in treatment have to be re-examined every three weeks and all new patients when they come) and when they come they have to be arranged and their diagnosis found in the case books and then I have to stand by the doctor and take off dressings and put them on again, hand him things, find his places in the books, switch the current off and on and a hundred and one little jobs. It is some game I can tell you: and my own work to do into the bargain. However I am in rude health and full of beans.

Don’t let Fuller touch any of the rose trees: I am nearly certain to get leave in April.

Best love to you all

your loving Dorothy

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Thanks to reduced weight I made a passable figure as a Tommy …

 

IWM Q108171

Members of the VAD providing Christmas entertainment for the patients in a hospital on the Western Front, 1917                                       IWM Q10871

31/12/17 & 2/1/18   HMB

My dearest Mother

Thanks awfully for putting money in the War Lottery for me: I gather that we haven’t had any luck as a family but never mind, it’s a bit more to help with the war.

As to “Mme de Marneffe” continuing her work here I think that is highly probable: but it depends on developments.

The Sutton film is here and I will make some prints of it as soon as we have any water to develop or rather fix the prints. We are in the grip of frost and snow with an icy biting wind: it thaws occasionally and promptly re-freezes and all the roads are like glass.

I am very glad to hear that Vear is better: I expect he will get quite all right in time.

Poor old W Brown. I can hear him now saying “ Was you ‘urt miss!”

Poor Mrs Sandall: I do hope Irene got through her op successfully and is going on well. I had a letter from her today. I had a letter from Colonel Sandall some time ago. He seems to like his new job very much.

I got the Caldecote Magazine and Calendar a few days ago: it is jolly to have news of all ones contemporaries. Several of my friends have got married and many of the married ones have increased the population like patriotic Englishwomen.

I will send you a photo of myself in a kilt presently. Thanks to reduced weight I made a passable figure as a Tommy and in fact broke several hearts pro term. We had a fancy dress party and dance in the mess on Thursday night and went in our kilts: it was tremendous fun.

The doctors came in to dinner with us on Christmas day and we had a great feast with much drink! We had a good turkey but I longed to be with you and see Father laying about him with a carving knife on the corpse of a noble bird!!

What has happened to my watch: I would never have sent it to old Leonard Hall if I’d known what an age he was going to keep it. Do ring him up and strafe him : I do want it so badly. I got the one from the stores nearly a month ago.

I went to midnight mass here on Christmas eve: got home about 1:15 did up some parcels and tumbled off to sleep about 1:45 and was routed out of bed by the night nurse at 5:45 and went to 6:45 early service at the Garrison Church. Then after breakfast I assisted Matron and worked till dinner time (12) In the afternoon the ward nurses had entertainments in their wards and teas and we others got ready for the evening and rehearsed the reels feverishly with a piper!

We had always done them with violin and piano before and it is streets more difficult with the pipes as the cadence is so much less marked. However the dance went off extremely well and was a howling success as were also the Swedes dances (folk dances in National costume) which were awfully fascinating .

The next day we did our dance again in the fracture ward where there were patients in extensions who couldn’t come to see the show on Christmas night and I sang to them.

On Thursday night the Swedes organised a subscription party in the mess: we all gave small sum and they did the catering. We have had several such parties this Winter and they are great fun. We all went in fancy dress and I wore my kilt again and we danced and played games and had a high old time.

Friday night I had an invitation to a Swedish Christmas party at their house in the village. Several of us went down and we had a very merry evening. I have got a new pal, not to takes Tim’s place of course, but it is jolly not to be so lonely. Her name is Isabel Beatty, and her father is a retired Naval man (Captain Michael Beatty RN) is he in Kelly? and a kind if relation to Sir David. They are Ulster Irish folk. Her Mother died about 2 years ago. She is a little older than I am but not in her ways and is a pretty dark girl with good colouring and shorter and slimmer than I. She is sharing my room with me now as there are some new people coming shortly. Unfortunately she has to go home at the end of her six months as she has one sister and they take it in turns to stay at home with their father who is old and not very strong.

We went to Manon on Sunday, not very well sung but the music is charming and the orchestra played it well.

Would you look out those coloured engravings of the Western Front which I brought home and send me the titles as there are some more I am having presented to me, but I don’t want to get the same ones twice. Also would you pack up my white sweater ready to send to any address I may send you later, and get me a new navy blue fleecy muffler as we went out in the ambulance the other day to fetch in a man from a place about 20 kilometres away who’d torn his hand in a circular saw and he had no sling s I made him one out of my scarf and somehow I didn’t fancy it again afterwards so I gave it to him for keeps.

I must dry up now.

Best Love to you all and a Happy New Year

your loving D

 

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It is freezing cold and we have a lot of snow on the ground, real Christmas weather…

the-french-army-on-the-western-front-first-world-war-1914-1918-a-french-motor-lorry-snowed-up-on-the-hesdin-saint-pol-road-17-december-1917

Motorcyclist of the Royal Eng. with a Christmas pudding December 1917. © IWM (Q 8338)18/12/17

18/12/1917

My dearest Father and Mother

This is just to send you my love and good wishes for Christmas. I am sending you home a parcel full of miscellaneous treasures by a trusty friend so I hope it may arrive safely.

There is in it a baby aeroplane for Father, which will make a pair with the other one, two pairs of gloves for Mother ( very dull but I hope useful) a nightie for Molly, a woolly jacket ( made by orphans at a convent) for the new arrival, and four packages for Nurse, Nanny Mrs Burfoie and Sandy.

Thank you ever so much dear Mother for the 3 books of songs which have all arrived safely, and which will give me immense pleasure when I have a second to glance inside them!

I live in a hectic whirl just now: you see being senior nurse Matron trots down to me and gives me all sorts of jobs in connexion with the Christmas tree and entertainment and then we are awfully busy with rehearsals and so forth. I dance feverishly about twice a day and get in a fearful muddle.

It is freezing cold and we have a lot of snow on the ground, real Christmas weather. I shall be feeling more peaceful and less worried a week from today.

I am awfully delighted that you have put some money in the war bond sweepstake or whatever it calls itself: I hope some of us get prizes!

I hope M’s new Abigail will be more useful than Frances: it will make a good deal of difference to you all if she is a good worker.

I should be grateful for some maintenance money soon as my funds are somewhat low.

I can’t think of anything more to say just now so will terminate my epistle

Best love to you both

Your loving Dorothy

Will Father give 10/- from my allowance to M as the two kids present.

 

 

 

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I can’t hear anything but Russian ballet and now I suppose they are gone from one’s gaze for ever…

Leonide_Massine_as_Joseph_in_the__Legend_of_Joseph__(1914)._Cover_Photo_of_the_Journal__Comoedia_Illustre._ (1)

Leonide Massine as Joseph in the “Legend of Joseph” (1914)

28/11/17

My dearest Mother

The haversack has arrived: it was marked “warm clothing” which tickled me immensely. It’s very nicely done. I knew the Schumann books were in bosche only but that doesn’t matter for songs: a lot of them are Heine’s poems and it would be criminal to translate them, just as the “Ring” sung in English must be a bit odd I think.

Tell Father with my love that he is not to add “Rouen France” on your envelopes: he did once and it was underlined in red and blue pencil.

As for Hobsons: you paid for those numerals which I am asking you to return and claim for.

When I was home I ordered buttons and numerals for the coat Chandler made me. They sent me 34, instead of 32: however Chandler was able to supply me with a pair. So you have paid for it and it is quite useless to me so I want it to go back. Also the other old things which they said they could do with very well and redip them. I have drawn all the money you mentioned in bills and am very settled in funds consequently.

I had a letter from Eddie who seems to be enjoying life at his newspot.

How awfully tiresome of Frances: I hope M may be able to find a new nurse and a more satisfactory one at thet.

I think I told you when I was home that a favourite patient of mine was going to have a serious operation. It came off on the 22nd and was a complete success. I have seen him daily since and he is in high spirits and going to be married soon.

Jolly for Robin to get a bit of shooting: I think it must be very tantalising up the lines to see so much game and not allowed to shoot it, but I believe a well trained lurcher dog has a “success foul”

I suppose my watch will come soon now: it is an age. I’m afraid it has given you lots of trouble.

There was a misunderstanding about writing our names on the envelopes and we have been told not to do it and your letters reach me quite all right.

I have been having quite a go of opera lately. The Sunday before Tim left we went to hear Faust. The principals were excellent, the chorus and orchestra were second rate and the ballet gave me the pip. I can’t hear anything but Russian ballet and now I suppose they are gone from one’s gaze for ever.

I enjoyed it immensely however: Tim was distressed because the basso was stout and made a too genial devil!!

Last Saturday evening we went to “Les Noces de Jeanette” and Boheme. I have heard it before here, but it is one of my favourites so naturally I went again. This next Sunday it is Pagliacci and Orpheus so we are having quite an orgy. Do you remember we did the second act of Orpheus for the combined piece at the last Spilsby Festival.

I’m afraid a female Orpheus may be a bit trying in places.

I am getting on with my Flemish I begin to understand a bit, the most difficult of all is that there are so many patois. The war news continues to be like the curate’s egg. How I hope they may save Venice from the greedy hands of those Swine.

I’m not sure that old Asquith isn’t trying to do the dirty on someone. In the immortal words of old Caroline” If they don’t watch him tight ‘e’ll do ‘em”

I am very sorry the hear John is being so harried, cant Jack Botham help him indirectly at all ? Old Sir A is the most irritating old idiot that ever existed.

Dr Stouffs has been away for two days this week so I have been in charge and jolly busy at that, and now the end of the month is upon me.

I miss Tim fearfully: she has been gone a month now and it seems like 3 or 4. I am not entirely a lonely soldier however as there is a very decent sort here, a girl called Beatty. Her father is an old Naval Captain a fiery waterman but they live in Hampshire. She is a dear and we see a lot of each other. She is our last addition to the staff and arrived just before I went on leave.

I must dry up now and make my bed: it is clean sheet day so it has to be made properly!!

Best love to you and Father and Molly and kisses for the next generation.

Your loving Dorothy.

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I am trying to write to the strains of “Take me back to dear old Blighty” …

take me back to dear old blighty2/11/17

My dearest Mother

Got a letter from you to-day, I thought you were never going to write.

Tim went off on Tuesday, had to spend the night at Havre and crossed on Weds night. I had a wire from her to say that she had arrived in England all right. I am missing her horribly both in work and play and feel very lost. How about my watch from L Hall ? Is it never coming ? I sent Granny’s case back by Tim and posted the key in a registered envelope as Tim has a genius for losing such things.

I should dearly love you to send me those two Schumann albums that Molly had (edition Peters) and “songs” of the North; I think it is 12/6 or something like that. If I might have it for the rest of my Christmas I should be very pleased.

By the by if you put APO2BEF it is quite unnecessary to put Rouen.

The weather here is too vile for words: constant rain and fogs with alternately cold and muggy temperatures.

I enjoyed my leave so tremendously this time and didn’t want to come back in some ways: I mean that I longed for it to be over and it not be necessary for me to return.

The inspector General Melis (Director of Medical Services in the Belgian Army) came on Wednesday: a surprise visit. No-one knew he was coming and he just popped in at 8:30. He fairly bitched into the heads for the way the hospital has been allowed to slide since the change and was furious all round.

I should have loved to have been a fly on the wall!

 

5/11/1917

Dearest Father

I suppose Molly is shortly returning to the fold after having been out to grass!

I am sorry to hear that Mother has been hurting her arm. I hope it is all right now.

This is rather a messy letter but one of the girls has got a trench gramophone and I am trying to write to the strains of “Take me back to dear old Blighty”

This is for Mother

Would you send that box full of old numerals and buttons that I left on the nursery table back to Hobsons and claim for a new set of 34 Lincoln numerals which they sent by mistake and which are in the said box. They said they’d take back the old buttons and numerals which are in it too and probably show a rebate on them.

Muir’s watch is arranged some-one else is bringing it. I wish mine would come, I am horribly handicapped without it.

I have been trying to garden but it is fearfully wet: however we have had three days now without rain: a great event here, so I may be able to get something done tomorrow.

I am still pegging away at the Flemish: it makes steady if slow progress. The Italian business is depressing but one must keep on hoping.

We are starting to organise our Christmas festivities: I am afraid we shan’t be able to have such a bust as we did last year for the men.

I must stop now

Best love to you all

Your loving Dorothy

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The rain is incessant and the whole place is a perfect swamp…

the-pont-boieldieu-rouen-rain-effect-1896.jpg!Blog

The pont boieldieu Rouen Rain-effect-1896  Camille  Pissarro

1/10/1917

My Dearest Mother

It is very sickening but I do not expect to get home this week, or at any rate at the end instead of today or tomorrow. Matron is held in England and cannot get back because of some new regulation I think. So till she comes back I know now to avoid the same trouble I shan’t budge. It is a beastly nuisance but absolutely unavoidable.

I have had enough of plain boat hold ups without courting anything else, besides it wouldn’t be fair on Tim whose turn comes after mine and who wants to get home to her Mother who is seedy.

It is awfully busy at the moment in the “electro” and in the garden.

Hope to see you soon

Best love  your loving D.

Post leave letter …

25/10/1917                                                               Hopital Militaire Belge

My Dearest Mother

I wired to you as soon as I landed: I had a fairly decent crossing, a bit rolling in mid-channel nothing upsetting. I picked up Mrs Spence at S’hampton and we shared a cabin which was quite decent. I couldn’t catch the early train so I waited for her and we had breakfast at the Hotel Normandie together and then sat there till it was time for my train, and then she came to see me off. She was a nice girl and it made the journey more pleasant to have a congenial companion.

Well here I am back at work: nearly all my favourite patients have gone in my absence and lots of new ones some which is very confusing. Tim has carried on splendidly in my absence. She leaves me on Tuesday perhaps for 6 days and perhaps for weeks or even months. It is horrible to contemplate in every way. She is splendid in the work and knows all the little ins and outs so awfully well.

The rain is incessant and the whole place is a perfect swamp.

The Spring Rheophores (?) are a great success and the gloves have been much admired. The commissions all seem to have been satisfactory and Tim will bring the suit-case back next week Colonel Sandall is not far away from here: I shall try to see him soon. I had a letter from Mrs S telling me all about him. I have had a letter from the Bird who is in Paris: how she has got there I can’t imagine.

The cake was a great success: it is now no more I am sorry to say – Do write and ask Leonard Hall to hurry up with my watch : I am lost without it, also my big haversack.

I must stop now: best love to you both and Molly when you see her.

Your loving Dorothy

 

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…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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I wonder if Col. S will come to Rouen: it would be awfully jolly if he did…

IMG_20150426_00029/9/1917                                              HMB

My Dearest Mother

It gives me great pleasure to think that ,barring accidents, a month hence I shall be with you and it will be Father’s birthday. I am looking forward immensely to my leave, to a stay with you, a happy return from exile though alas it is only a short one.

I haven’t seen the Dales girl yet but I expect she will turn up soon. You needn’t worry about servant trouble, I will see that my visit doesn’t entail much extra trouble, and above all don’t make any extra preparations for me as I am used to looking after myself.

Please keep my Red Cross Certificate I couldn’t do with it out here.

My hands are perfectly all right again: it is only a single Urticaria, probably bought on by eating bad food of some kind. The men have had what they call “coliques” really a very mild form of dysentery in large numbers and a good many of the nurses have had derangements in their little Maries. No doubt the urticarial was from the same source but took a different form.

You sound as though I had sent you too many jugs: I hope you aren’t laid on with so many but they are such pretty colourings and are so delightful for flowers: we always use them.

I wonder if Col. S will come to Rouen: it would be awfully jolly if he did.

I have still got the Telegraph cuttings: they have done the round of the nurses and have interested us immensely.

Tell Father I am looking forward immensely to a little shooting: I expect I shall be a terrible shot but I shall enjoy myself immensely en tout cas.

I bought myself some coloured engravings that I hankered after very much with Father’s money and spent the rest on new tyres. I shall bring yours home to invest I think.

Perhaps Father will send me a little money to come home on: it would be wise I think, as I may get hung up at Havre if the weather is bad. We have had two deaths this week, one from cancer of the stomach and the other from a stoppage – the men simply revel in funerals and put on their best uniforms and all their medals for the occasion. It is a funny taste isn’t it.

I hope you have written to the Bureau des Conges for that paper and have by now received it and sent it back to them filled up. It is rather important as it gives me a free journey to and from Havre to Alford (of course I shall travel 1st on the boat and pay the difference)   which is worth a good deal. I warned you in plenty of time as they are rather slow sometimes.

I must stop now as it is bed-time.

Best love to you all your loving Dorothy

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tim and I … were invited out by two rather nice Belgian officers, both Counts!

Dorothy Feb 1916 Rouen22/08/1917

My Dearest Mother and Father

Thank you very much indeed for your more than generous presents which have arrived, so I was advised by the Credit Lyonnais. My birthday passed busily as usual and in the evening I went out to a dinner party: Tim and I and one of the Swedish girls were invited by two rather nice Belgian officers, both Counts!

 

It was just a coincidence that they hit on my birthday as they didn’t know.

I have been troubled with my hands again a little; not so badly as before.  Went down to see the doctor at No 2 and he has given me some more medicine and it has gone again.

We have got our new X-ray installation in working order now: it is a new, very powerful, affair and ripping to work. We are doing fracture therapy every day and are having quite good results with it.

Last Sunday Tim and I were off so we took our bikes and went down river on the steamer and stopped the night at a hotel right on the edge of the forest. The next day we spent most of our time biking in the forest or else sitting by the river watching the ships go up and down. By the by I expect you will shortly be receiving a packing case with china in it which a girl going on leave took over and dispatched for me.  There are, I think, 3 cups and saucers with cockerels on them and 4 egg cups, also 3 jugs. The jugs are a present for Mother.

I must stop now dears. Thank you ever so much for your present it is so good of you.

My very best love

Your loving Daughter Dorothy.

 

2/9/1917                                                              HMB

My dearest Father

In about a months time I hope to be with you. Will you please write at once to Lieutenant A Van Hoorde – Bureau des Conges Militaires, General Buildings, Aldywch to ask for an application form for my conge to have me home free. Ask them to send it to you at once and fill it up and send it back to them and they will send a conge paper to me.

Be sure to sign yourself J.P. as it counts for something to show your legal status. Don’t write it yourself, get it typed or done by one of the clerks. The paper should be signed by Woolnough too: it isn’t necessary for a British subject but as our staff are the only British people who have this paper it is easy for them to forget and demand the chief of the district police for his signature, so it is best to have it at once and save delays.

Of course I shan’t “blue” my insurance money: I want you to take it and place it how you think best for the country and me. Put it in whatever War stock you think fit.

The weather has been fiendish gales, the like of which I have never seen, which have devastated the country and our poor little garden. However with some better days it is recovering itself a little. I have so much to tell you and talk about when I come home.

I must stop now

Best love to you both

Your loving Dorothy

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Unfortunately one was only allowed to walk in the castle grounds…

Claude_Monet-Waterlilies

Claude Monet’s 1899 The Waterlily Pond, green harmony. In Gisor Dorothy describes the sparkling River Epte, Monet’s Water Lilies series was created and inspired by diverting a branch of the Epte to a section of his gardens.

06/08/1917                                                         HMB

My Dearest Mother

This will be an awful scribble: both my hands are bound as I have got what they think is Urticaria(nettle-rash) but what tickles like the devil anyway- I haven’t slept properly for two nights as I wake up every minute (it seems) I have a terrific struggle not to scratch.

07/08/1917  I am better and have slept a decent nights dose last night. The doctors here seemed helpless so Matron sent me down to my friend at No 2, Dr Eaton who pronounced it a form of Urtcaria. It is probably something bad in the food tins that has caused it as nearly everyone has had internal derangements of some kind and the men had an epidemic of dysentery in a mild form. However all is well that ends well. I had it all over both hands and a little on my neck. It has been most inconvenient for my work and I am still wearing gloves, which you know I hate !! though I can do without a dressing on.

Who do you think passed me in the streets of Rouen yesterday, fortunately without recognising me? Freddy Crofts of Skegness !  I gave Tim a lightening sketch of our hockey encounters which amused her not a little. He looks just as dreadful a little counter jumper as ever and was talking in that high pitched cockney voice of his very volubly to another man. He is in the ASC so I expect he is stationed at Rouen. Do tell Collie and Mrs C that I have seen him: you need not reproduce my further comments !!

How are Jack Nichols and Tommy ! I at once jumped to the conclusion that the latter had been having trouble with his floating rib again when you said he had had an op. He will have quite a long sick leave after appendicitis I expect.

We cleared  out a lot of men last month but are filling up again now.

I don’t think I told you about our trip to Gisors. Our Sunday off last month was the 22nd of July and Saturday the 21st was the Belgian National Fete so no treatments. We electric nurses helped on the wards in the morning and were free for the rest of the day. We got Matron’s permission and packed our haversacks and set off on our bikes to Gisors, 54 kilometres away (about 35 miles) at 1:30. It is a very pretty run, we had a puncture on Tim’s bike and a little trouble of that kind and what with looking at churches, getting drinks (a hazing hot day) and so forth it was just 8 when we arrived. We found a very nice little hotel there which looks on to the market square (which is triangular) where the Epte (one of three tiny rivers which flow through the town) goes sparkling along. The town is an awfully interesting old place. It has a feudal castle which is extraordinarily fine. Unfortunately one was only allowed to walk in the castle grounds as all the towers were employed for military purposes. I sent you a picture postcard of Gisors: did you get it?

The cathedral church is also the most extraordinarily bitty place, partly Gothic and partly Renaissance: it is more curious than pretty in some parts but it is very interesting all the same. The hotel de Ville was an old convent and is also very fascinating, there are some fascinating old houses and streets and we loved poking about there. They were very kind to us at the hotel and treated us splendidly- we set off on our return journey about 2:30 and Tim had another puncture. However we got it mended en route and after halts for tea and supper and sundry other things we got home about 9:15. We enjoyed ourselves enormously and weren’t tired at all. The weather is simply vile just now and the rain is dashing all our flowers to bits. By the by will you ask Mrs Baron to get me two sets of stripes : when one has four dresses, four coats and four to put on each, 10bits are a drop in the ocean.

 

I must stop now

Best love to both

Your loving daughter Dorothy

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