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
If Gertrude looked like a Serbian nurse, then this is probably the photograph
Gertrude in her Red Cross uniform