Other voices, other times

31 Dec

At the moment I am mining a rich seam of unintended comedy in a variety of letters, some written by the family, and some to them.

On Sat: Mrs Stotherd comes to lunch after decorating – it’s always rather a trial- altho’ she doesn’t sit among the tombs as much as she used.

What can one say? Straight from a Wilkie Collins novel, in spirit if not in fact. Mrs Stotherd was presumably decorating the church by arranging the flowers in it.

We have Reggie at home now, also wounded – it is such a blessing to feel they are safely in England & receiving the best attention. The dear old boy is very cheerful, but in a good deal of pain as his sciatic nerve has been injured in some way.

Lucky, wounded, cheerful Reggie.

And here is someone whose tartness I feel I would have enjoyed:

We have lots of wounded in all the Red X hospitals round us- & they may take our school later on. … I would much rather have a government one. Red X is wonderfully muddled as a rule, & such squabbles!

I have spent my life knitting, & am still at it, for the French wounded now.

A PS on a letter to a wounded officer sent home to England to recover from a fellow officer in France:

By the way- the C.O. has asked me to tell you that your Mess Bill is 11.50 Francs (say 9/-) Could you send a Postal Order? Sorry to trouble you but C.O. &c.

I love the economy of phrase of “but C.O. etc”.

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Posted by on 31 December, '13 in About


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