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1 August 1917 – Ted to Gertrude

01 Aug

August 1st/17

 

Dear Mother

Very many thanks indeed for your letter from Totland Bay dated 13th June. You seem to have had quite a pleasant & peaceful time there and I’m right glad to hear it. From all accounts you came back looking all the better for the change.

And I like the photograph you sent. Quite right my dear mother to have something to hand down to posterity; I think you’ve done your bit splendidly in the war, in many more ways than hospital work not the least of which is in keeping so wonderfully cheery & always smiling for all your anxious moments, from which I’m afraid you are seldom free. But I trust it is some satisfaction to you to know that your cheery & happy bearing  & the way you never allow us to catch even a glimpse of the anxious thoughts that must be always with you, all this I say helps us more than we can possibly say to carry on with whatever particular job we are doing. You’ve been just splendid all through. The photograph is quite good I think; you look rather like a Serbian nurse I think, at least what I remember of their pictures in the paper! But it’s a good “likeness” & easily recognisable.

I’m out of hospital again you see, but I suppose I told you this last week, as I got out before mail day. I have been taking things easy for a week, & am really perfectly fit again now, & feel much stronger & better all round. Trying weather to convalesce in all the same; 115° the usual thing nowadays, but coolish nights which is a blessing. And now we have begun August, one of the hottest months of the year according to past records. But it’s only a month & after that in September the days begin to get bearable, & after that again they are cold & bright & the climate I believe leaves nothing to be desired; one hears that the cold weather out here is perfectly delightful.

I got a parcel from you a day or two ago, containing some gorgeous soap, lemonade powder (most refreshing) & some lemon tablets which I’m afraid had all melted into a sort of paste! & some tea, beef & milk tablets which I hope to try some day. All together a most pleasing little parcel, (& a bottle of Eau de Cologne too, most acceptable) thanks most awfully for it. I’m afraid no letters were for me in the few bags saved off the Mongolia, & now I see the parcels mail 4th – 18th July has been sunk. The submarine show seems to be much the same, same number of boats sunk each week; I do hope we are really rounding up a good many U-boats nowadays.

The Russians are doing badly are’nt they, which is a nuisance, & I’m afraid it means prolonging the war. But the news from France is still good, Messines an’ all, & I expect by the time you get this there will have been another of Haig’s ‘Hammer blows’ struck.

So glad to hear Dreda contemplates farm work, & she seems to have found a nice place to start on. Much better than the stuffy old bank. I remember having a drink of the water, as far as I remember very cold coming from such a deep well. How I would love a glass of it now! Today is a fiendish day, a howling gale and thick clouds of dust, settling down in a thick layer over everything; impossible to keep clean too. The wind does’nt lower the temperature, it just keeps the hot air moving, and the dust.

I see they propose starting the weekly mails again. Many thanks for all the papers, daily sketches etc, most acceptable.

Best love to all

yr loving son

Ted


If Gertrude looked like a serbian nursse, then this is probably the photograph

Gertrude in her Red Cross uniform

Gertrude in her Red Cross uniform

 
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