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22 June 1918 – Ted to Gertrude

June 22/18

 

Dear Mother

I can’t remember if I’ve written to you lately, I know I’ve been most frightfully busy with this old school and have’nt had much time. My diary says I had 2 letters from you on 4th & one again on the 19th but I think I must have answered the 4th ones.      the one that arrived 19th was dated             & very many thanks for it.

It has got a lot hotter since I last wrote anyhow, & the last week or so has not been very pleasant. We had it 110° in the shade [43° C] 2 days ago & it’s usually 105 or 106. However living in a house with Electric fans makes a lot of difference. We still lead a very strenuous life here, up at 4 & work outdoors 5-8, & lectures etc 9.30-1 & afternoon work as well & we generally go to bed tiredish. The course ends next week & then we have a week off, & the next one begins.

I hear from Jim very often. He wants me to get him a lot of things like hair oil & writing paper. There is an officer from his rgt: on the course so I’ll get him to take a box up to Jim for me, though I may be able to manage a visit myself in the “holidays” but I don’t know yet. He seems very fit & enthusiastic.

Col Hogg has I hear gone to hospital with a pain inside but I don’t know how bad he is or whether he will have to go on sick leave or anything. We had a great dinner party 2 nights ago, about 60 people dining here, & a concert afterwards, rather a late night but we persuaded the colonel to let us get up an hour later next morning which was’nt much, but still it was a little better than usual.

Sam Orton has gone home on a special mission, fearfully secret and all. He went at 2 days’ notice so I did’nt have much time to see him. He took a wee present for Nell home with him, very kindly, so I did’nt like to load him up too much otherwise I might have sent you something along.

Your letter of April 16th said no mail had come in. I had a line from Nell dated 22nd April & she had had some letters from me, so I expect yours rolled up all right. I’m afraid I was rather optimistic & hopeful about leave then. But if there was a chance at all I simply had to sort of warn Nell did’nt I, and I’m afraid I raised the poor child’s hopes too much. I feel rather angry with myself for ever having done so, & there still seems practically no chance of my getting home this year.

I am sorry to hear about Major Thornton. I know how much Rosamond liked him. I wrote to Rosamond some time ago asking her seriously about the farm, & if there was any chance of my joining as a partner etc after the war, but I’m afraid she never got the letter as I never heard anything from her about it. And now I suppose things are all changed, so I hope she won’t bother about it. From Ben’s description of the place when she stayed there it sounded most fascinating, & she wrote & told me how suitable she thought it was for me, as apparently a good bailiff is the chief necessity & I suppose one would manage to learn the difference between a plum and an apple oneself in time.

I had a line from Dryden & she & Sheima seemed mightily pleased with their Pitney visit. I met Cocks Cowland- Cicely’s brother- here the other day & we dined & yarned over old times together : sounds rather spinky does’nt it. There is one Major Radwell of the Hants rgt here on this course who used to go to old Quentin’s place at Liphook & play raquets with him in the old days; the place was burnt down you remember & Bunchie often used to go & stay there, but neither he nor I can remember the name of it.

So you’re going to keep a bee. Good, only do mind he does’nt sting you. I always have a horror of them as you know, but I must say honey is good- “and is there honey still for tea” as Rupert Brook says. I am glad to see Lloyd George & Geddes & everyone saying definitely that we have got the submarine situation well in hand now, & also the food man says that you won’t be asked to go through such rotten times as you have been – most cheering news, and I think nowadays they are very careful when they make public statements to tell the truth.

I have a lecture now so I will end up. I see letters from London up to mid May about have arrived in Bombay so I suppose we expect them here in 10 days or so.

Best love to all

Yr loving son

Ted


Noel Thornton was married, so his friendship with Rosamund was not a romance. However, the context implies that Rosamund’s plans after the war depended on Major Thornton surving it, and that Ted might buy into a venture with Rosamund. Perhaps she was considering becoming a tenant farmer. 

Major Noel Shipley Thornton, 7th Rifle Brigade

His father died 4 weeks later

Betchworth memorial

Auckland Geddes

Honey still for tea

 
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Posted by on 22 June, '18 in About

 

21 June 1918 – Richard to Gertrude (second letter)

21.6.18.

 

My dear Mother

I’ve already sent you a letter & a telegram today. I forgot to ask you to send any eyeglasses you have of mine. Have’nt you got some or did you give them to me? If you have please send them along to where the stick & things are

Best love to all

yr loving son

Richard

 
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Posted by on 21 June, '18 in About

 

21 June 1918 – Richard to Gertrude

21.6.18

 

Dear Mother

I am sending you a telegram this morning “send my watch”

It’s a nuisance, but I could not wangle the exchange, but I might possibly get back if I still want to from the other end

Love to all

Yr loving son

Richard

 
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Posted by on 21 June, '18 in About

 

16 June 1918 – Richard to Gertrude

16.6.18.

 

Dear Mother those books and the shoes arrived this morning, thank you very much. I was reading that Windsor you sent me; you did’nt, but one of the others may have read the story where the people motored from London to Guildford over the Hog’s Back! and eventually turned up Waterdene Rd? To Newlands corner, & looked at the silent pool, & then walked from Goshall to Shere. Is that why you sent it? Silly mistake though saying you go over the hog’s back before you get to Guildford.

Rain today for a change, it lays the dust which is an advantage.

No more news of going, suppose it will be sudden.

Best love to all

yr loving son

Richard


 
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Posted by on 16 June, '18 in About

 

15 June 1918 – Richard to Gertrude

15.6.18.

 

Dear Mother       I am still here & if I’d only thought of it I’d have asked you to go on writing till I wire. Goodness knows how long a wire will take but if I do go I will wire thus.

SEND MY WATCH

Then you’ll know I am off, & not write any more here.

The shoes are taking ages to come. I have just written to Ben.

Must catch the post

Best love to all

Yr loving son

Richard

 

I got Dreda’s letter

 
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Posted by on 15 June, '18 in About

 

15 June 1918 – Richard to Dreda

15.6.18.

 

My dear Dreda.     Thanks awfully for your letter, I shall look forward to getting the other one later on as I shall probably have to go, worse luck. You hardly believe it, but I am quite interested in my work here. Lots of malaria cases which I know how to treat & none of these other M.Os seem to know anything about. Dysentery too. Don’t know how long my enthusiasm will last, but I shall be sorry to go. I am so glad Jane arrived back safely.

How exciting Freddy flying over and doing all those wonderful stunts. What fun if he comes to where I go, I am afraid I shall be sent away soon.

I am glad Topher has got to the A.S.C. at Aldershot. I hope he makes a success of it, he’s sure to

The brown shoes have’nt arrived yet, they should be here soon but parcels seem to take much longer than letters. I have bust that black pair I brought, least nearly through across one toe.

Gorgeous weather and the bathing is lovely, but it’s a different life altogether to the last months with you all. I did enjoy that & I’d love to get home again, but I must save up some money first.

Are you going to Sea View for your holidays I wonder. Helen is going I know.

Best love to all   I am going to wire mother “Send my watch” when I leave. Then she’ll know.

Yrs ever

Dick

 
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Posted by on 15 June, '18 in About

 

11 June 1918 – Richard to Gertrude

11.6.18.

 

Dear Mother

There’s a bill I clean forgot to pay & which I ought to. I owe Mrs Vacani Brompton Rd about £5 for laundry. I am writing to her & send the bill to you. Would you mind paying it & when I know how my acc stands I will send you the cheque

Best love to all

yr loving son

Richard

 

 
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Posted by on 11 June, '18 in About

 

10 June 1918 – Richard to Gertrude

Monday 10.6.18.

 

Dear Mother

Two letters arrived at the hospital today. I see they take four days. Many thanks for the photographs, quite good eh? So you have at last heard from Ted, his leave certainly does seem uncertain. I have’nt heard from Paul yet. There may be some letters at Cox, I hope to go & get them tomorrow, I went on Sat but they had closed when I got there, so annoying, as I could not get down today, & it’s a long time since I got your first letter written there.

So sorry to hear Daphne has been seedy. So Topher has got his A.S.C. School all right, I expect there is news of this in letters at Cox. It’s much cooler today, a wind blowing and a tremendous lot of dust. I got some things up from Cox today that have been there since I arrived in France Oct/16. My camp bed, a chair & 500 cigars I am glad to say although so old, the cigars are in quite good condition & I am having an awful FF with the C.O. over them as he likes them, & I have given him some.

We are a good way from the town & the sea, but some afternoons we go down & bathe but the water is very dirty where we bathe, bits of cabbage & decaying vegetable matter of all kinds floating about. I wish I had brought my bathing suit. I had to buy one.

A racquet came up from Cox,  a good one press, case & all, I had forgotten I had it, all the strings are bust though. I may send it home as it would be worth restringing, such a good frame & all. Might do for one of the girls.

I have got about 80 patients under my care! I have not absolutely given up all hope of having to go on, but I have definitely heard they will not sanction an exchange, if I don’t have to go yet something might be worked, but I doubt it.

I have had one game of tennis, but the men here are awful rotters & although by no means young never seem to have done the usual things. No idea of playing tennis, absolute beginners. The court is hopeless too, big sort of undulations going lengthways & if you stand on the top of the undulating surface on the service line, it’s like serving the ball from the top of the hill over the net, & you can get a tremendous slash in. They think I am marvellous, & I fancy they find it difficult to understand how it is I’ve never been champion of the world, let alone England. They always say “service” before each service.

(drawing of court)

It’s great fun sleeping in that bag every night, such a good idea of yours that old eiderdown, it’s so warm. I have been sleeping on rather a hard board bed, but tonight I am using my camp bed which will be much more comfortable.

The grandfather clock must feel much happier with plenty of breathing space. You did tell me you had sent the specs & stick to Alex, I shall hope to get them some day. But I dare not do anything till I know definitely. I wish I had’nt stopped you writing here, I don’t expect I shall go yet. You never know though. I expect I’ll write again tomorrow

Best love to all

Yr loving son

Richard


A.S.C. School is probably Army Service Corps School – “Soldiers can not fight without food, equipment and ammunition. They can not move without horses or vehicles. It was the ASC’s job to provide them.” – http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/regiments-and-corps/the-army-service-corps-in-the-first-world-war/

It’s very hard to work out where Richard is. Presumably near Marseilles.

 
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Posted by on 10 June, '18 in About

 

5 June 1918 – Richard to Gertrude

5.6.18

 

Dear Mother

Many thanks for your letter. I was so glad to find it yesterday when I called. I knew all letters you write would go whirling off to Egypt, but I could not stop them. I have heard nothing yet, however they are keeping me back very kindly till news arrives. Wonder if Ted has arrived. I would have liked to have seen Freddie doing his stunts. So you’ve got the legacy all right & how nice its being free of duty. I am sorry I missed Paul’s letter, I hope he sends one to me here.

So the dog arrived back safe, how good of that old porter to write you a letter. I hope you put new skin on your thumb. I had a good bathe yesterday, the sea is fairly warm, but I’d like it warmer. Send me those 3 blue paper books of French Hugos there are about in the spare room or else upstairs in the room over the lumber room.

Best love to all    yr loving son

Richard


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_Hugo

Having established the language book company was founded in the 50s.

 
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Posted by on 5 June, '18 in About

 

2 June 1918 – Ted to Gertrude

June 2/18

 

Dear Mother

Very many thanks for your letter dated March 25, which I got on my return from my visit to our 1st Bn: last week. The letter also had 2 really excellent snap shots of Ben & James, & Dreda & the best man, I’m most awfully glad to have them, & incidentally I’m jolly proud of my sisters. (I wonder if specs took one of Nell, by the way? I know she was only a guest at the show & not a performer, but I should love to have a real good snap of her.)

Not much news here. We are all anxiously awaiting further news of the German offensive on the Aisne. It’s simply hopeless to comment on these things at this distance, & considering the time this letter will take to reach you, but one can at least continue to express the utmost admiration for those troops withstanding those terrible odds, to have absolute confidence in them and the final outcome of it all.

I heard from Nell too of course, all about the wedding & her visit. She did enjoy it so, & I’m sure it did her all the good in the world to get away from frowsty old Gloucester for a bit. I’m so awfully glad the dear child was looking so pretty & well, but I have’nt heard half enough about her yet. You see I seldom if ever get a description of her & just this glimpse of her I have got from you & Ben has made me wild to hear more. However another mail is on its way upstream I believe, so perhaps I’ll be satisfied in a day or two.

My peaceful visit to the 1st Batt. was somewhat rudely disturbed the last morning at 4.a.m. by the arrival of a Turco ‘plane who dropped bombs about, but no harm was done though it was somewhat alarming.

Our week’s rest is over now, & the new class begins tomorrow & we have a strenuous month ahead of us. There is an officer from Jim’s regiment here & he brought news of him & various messages, I had a line too from Jim himself today, he seems very contented with his lot & has fallen among a nice lot of fellows apparently.

You refer to “rather a friend of Jane’s” in your letter, by name Garden, who is I gather the “Murray Gordon” of her wire; am I right? I wonder, as beyond the wire & the slight reference to him in your letter I am completely in the dark regarding the whole affair. Perhaps next mail will enlighten me somewhat.

I say mother I don’t think you need worry to send the Pink Papers any more, thanks very much; they are’nt worth the paper they are printed on. I like the Spectator now that I’m away from the rgt, & also the daily sketches & things and of course the weekly times. An occasional bystander or tatler or sketch is always welcome. Yes I got the surrey times with the account of old Ben’s wedding in it, or rather of her & the bridesmaid’s dresses, but I suppose this is inevitable. However, better describe their dresses than, as I saw the other day in an Indian paper, the bridegroom “looked very smart in his khaki uniform”, awful is’nt it!

I went to the French convent here yesterday, they have an orphanage for Armenian & other kiddies, & they are fearfully pleased to see anyone there. They were very good to our wounded after Kut, as I think I must have told you. I went last Sunday & again yesterday, & made a few purchases of silk etc, they really have some marvellous work there, but it’s all very expensive.

Must end up now. A boisterous windy day but cool.

Best love to all

Yr loving son

Ted


 

 
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Posted by on 2 June, '18 in About