The Nurses’ Home
The General Hospital, Birmingham
11th April 1915
My own dear Cyril
Thank you so much for your little letter, which although it showed me you were a bit low-spirited, "fed-up", still it appealed to me because it was not forced but just the natural expression of your feelings. It must have been a very annoying day altogether and I do hope you won't have many like it, perhaps tomorrow's route march will be more successful.
I enclose a letter from Cecil to me for you to read and wonder whether you would pass this cheque through your bank. It is awfully generous of Cecil to send me such a lot and as I am about to have a holiday it will prove very useful to help me to get about. I had a postcard from Mother today saying Cecil will apply for leave to convalesce to England, so if his dates and mine coincide I may be able to see something of him. I have replied to his letter – and as regards his suggestion that I should go home I have explained to him that I have agreed to go to Bournbrook so am not free to choose one way or another but that I hope to spend a little time at home before we are married. I have been working in the children's ward today - it is very different to nursing grown-ups and quite new work to me. However, I did not drop any of them or hurt them in any way. I am always afraid of breaking them, they are so small!
I had a good deal of mild chaff from those who know I am going to be married when they heard I was in the children's ward. I could not fathom the reason at first but it has dawned on me since that they thought it useful experience for the future.
It must have been rotten for you saying goodbye to the little Mother and your Father and Ethel and Betty. It will be the first really serious parting from your home folks. I purposely did not say much to your mother about it because I was afraid of unnerving her – I tried to appear as cheerful as I could so as not to depress her. She is very brave to have given her three sons so uncomplainingly. Women such as she is are the backbone of England. She fights for her country in the person of her sons and suffers far more than they.
Cecil sounds optimistic about the war, doesn’t he?
I am cogitating how to spend my holiday. My plans partly depend on Cecil’s movements, but apart from that I am undecided. I should like to finish up at Badsey but as it is rather relaxing it would be wiser for me to go somewhere bracing first. Folkestone appeals to me but if I go there Mother will want me to cross the water and once in France it would be difficult for me to return!
If you are going to be in England until after the 17th, I would like to go to Walton or perhaps a night or two at Addlestone on the chance of you getting off on a Sunday. In some ways it would be better for us not to meet again as we have said goodbye, it will mean going through the agony of parting all over again, then on the other hand it seems stupid not to take advantage of any opportunity that presents itself to have a few golden hours together. If Kath were going to be at Sydenham next weekend I would have asked her to put me up and then you could kill two birds with one stone. I am writing to her tonight and shall mention that I am going to have a holiday.
Well, dear heart, I must close to send her a few lines and after that to go for a stroll.
All my heart's love and a great big kiss.
From your own little