24 January 1918 – Ted to Jane

24 Jan

Jan 24/18


Dear Jinny

Very many thanks indeed for a letter from you which I got about Christmas time, but I’ve been that busy I have’nt had much time for writing, except to old Nell, ha ha – I’m still very ill, with Nellitis, I mean: and I see no chance of ever getting any better – a hopeless case, I’m afraid- and to think I have’nt seen the dear child for over 2 years. I do loathe this war-

We have had a simply gorgeous fortnight of lovely crisp cold weather, but night before last we got a gale o’ wind with rain and the whole place is one big marsh now, & it’s very raw & novembery-

Nothing very exciting has been happening here lately, a Hun ‘plane or two has been over but otherwise no alarms. We had a strenuous week training all last week, & thought it might mean something, but nothing has happened yet- We have been in the front line now for nearly 5 months, & we are getting rather tired of it, for though we are not in actual touch with the enemy, yet we have done a colossal amount of digging, and generally speaking we are very much out of the world in this remote corner.

I say, I told you did’nt I how fearfully bucked Nell was with the undies you made her; thanks awfully for making such ripping ones. I got some very old letters of hers last week, dated last July! In those she said Mrs F. had said she thought she ought to be getting her trousseau, & they went off & bought some Japanese silk for undies on the strength of it! Mind you help like hell in getting Nell’s things for the wedding, trousseau an’ all : the child is to be clothed perfectly right down to her nethermost garments: she’s such a dear that nothing but the best is good enough for her- (so you see I’m still pretty bad!) I don’t trust Mrs F. & the F. family as regards trousseau, though I expect Louie & Marjory would be all right. I often hear from Louie, rather a friend of mine it seems. And from Marjory too, though of course I’ve never met her.

I hear Geoff Houghton is “covered in red tabs”, what job’s he wangled pray? And I’m most awful pleased to hear old Topher is on his way to get a commission & I do hope his stammering course does him some good.

So I suppose old Paul is married now. Lucky devil, I say- and I hear you were b’maid, so I ought to be getting long descriptions of the show in a few weeks. Letters take 6 weeks or more now to reach us up in these parts from home. Those ripping Fortnum & Mason things turned up last week for me from you girls: thanks most awfully for them, they were most acceptable. The Dudmans sent me rather a nice writing pad, with this paper in it, but it’s good enough to get refills for.

Your letter is dated Tuesday, somewhat vague- but I see the post mark is 31st October. (Remember 31st October 1915? We went over to C’ham, to look for rooms, & found 30; I had been engaged 2 days then!) Yes I saw Stephanie’s wedding in the Tatler- remember how we used to invade their house on our way down to Gloucester always? My dear well can I picture the Babs-Jack wedding: old Davids looking an awful old cad I suppose: Maggie on the complete fuss, and I hear the mystery V.C. was there an’ all. I should like to know how many more honours and stars and bars that man’s going to get!

Well so long old bird & the best of luck

Lots of love

from Ted

Dear Ted. “Ripping” is perhaps not the best way to describe silk undies. Now we know why Mrs Fielding might have been shocked though. It’s interesting he asks Jane to make them, she was a great flirt and probably the naughtiest of the sisters.

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