Indian Comforts for the Troops Fund.
Dear Mother The missing mail turned up yesterday- I think I told you we had got letters up to the middle of October, then there was a gap and the next ones were about the 28 Oct- But now the middle lot have arrived safely, they somehow got put on board a later steamer- I had a letter from you yesterday dated 22 Oct. Many thanks for it. You had got letters from me of August 6th 11th & 16th, what a lot I seem to have wrtten about then! But I had lots to say it seems as I had just been on that Babylon trip & was on my way up here too. Yes, I was only 10st 3 at the end of last hot weather, but I’ve got all my weight back now & am feeling most awfully fit (tap wood!)
Still very mild weather here, no frost to speak of yet, but last year at this time we were having it bitterly cold. It’s very raw & cloudy today & I’m sure it’s going to rain all tomorrow, so jolly for Christmas! We are’nt doing much for Christmas, I suppose the general & I will go round the men’s Dinners, & make a few seasonable remarks, but otherwise I don’t think there’s much on. I do hope the rain keeps off.
I have been rather busy lately, I don’t know exactly what about, but I seem to have a good deal of work to do. Several lucky officers & men have already gone home, as they are specially required for demobilization purposes, a few seem to be sent for almost daily.
I see Wilson has been having great receptions in Paris & rightly too. We are fortunate having such a strong & far-seeing man to act as sort of dictator to the world. Would you believe it, here we are on Christmas Eve & we have’nt heard one single word about the election results yet! We presume Lloyd George & his coalitionists have got in alright, but people are beginning to wonder now what has really happened-
I had a line from Topher yesterday in Egypt: he seemed very cheery & had been to Jerusalem on leave, which sounds really rather comic somehow! We are rather badly hit by Spanish flu, & had one Indian regiment so reduced in numbers that it was left behind in these last operations & had to come on later. Our British troops all had it too, & it ran through the regiments like wild fire once it got a good hold. I think I had a slight touch after I had been scratched by those shell splinters, & I think that gingered things up a bit, anyhow I felt rotten for 2 or 3 days, & had fever at night.
It’s just got much cloudier & colder and it looks very black all round. It’s miserable weather for camp life, but up till today it’s been really wonderful, cold but sunny & mild, ideal weather in fact, & you can wear a small hat all day- We had a very good day’s shooting on Sunday, & got 47 partridges, some of which we are having tomorrow, as we could’nt get a Turkey or a goose.
Our big parade went off very well and the aeroplane “flew past” General Cobbe, a most novel performance. Afterwards they gave a display of dives & loops and wonderful things, really most thrilling to watch. It was a colossal parade, miles & miles of troops it seemed, horse, foot, & guns, & big tractor caterpillar engines drawing the guns. We had no tanks, as there are’nt any out here, but it was a good show of modern arms taking it all round.
I wonder if you ever retrieved that watch from Aunt Edward’s executors? You said in one of your letters you were going to try & get it next time you went to town. So glad Jinny got over her flu alright. It has been bad has’nt it everywhere, & I see in S- Africa the insurance companies have paid out more over that than over war casualties. I can’t quite connect Geraldine Kelway and sanitation somehow (sounds as if I thought she was insanitary!) but I mean I thought a sanitary inspector’s job would hardly suit a pretty girl like that. I always connected it with very dull & uninteresting men.
Mail goes out tomorrow, so they say, & I must scribble a line to Nell. Best love to all
yr loving son
Article referencing the Indian soldiers’ Comfort Fund
Geraldine of the Langport Kelways, after whom a peony is named