My dear Mother
Many thanks for your last letter. Tell Father I was glad to get the Blue book and Punch. The former is very well worth studying and will be a historical document I should think.
We are still here but expecting to move soon. Nearly all our patients have gone, so unless there are others up the valley in the various towns, we are not likely to get much work until we get to a new base. Unless things go badly again for a bit and this line has to be used again.
Half our equipment is packed, but can readily be brought into use again, so we are in a state of suspended animation. Fortunately the weather keeps fine and fairly warm. Lately I’ve been getting a little riding exercise in the afternoons, there are three horses attached to the unit.
I had a most interesting letter from Norton a few days back. He is, in common with the great majority of Americans, keenly in sympathy with the allies, and is organising and taking out under the Red Cross Society a fleet of motor ambulances for collecting wounded direct from the battlefields. I hope they’ll get opportunities of doing the work they intend, and not be obstructed by officials. He notes that “even armour sees through the Germans now”!
Mary writes cheerfully from London, evidently very glad to see our home again. Our tenants appear to have treated the place very well.
Has Tom Butler joined the Army? I heard that Fred had. And have you any news of Captain Tanner?
The Chaplain who was attached here, Helps by name, has just gone on to the front; he is such a nice man and we’re sorry to lose him, but he was very keen to get on to more active work.
Have you got any Belgians in Badsey? The problem of dealing to the best advantage with all of them is a difficult one I’m sure, work both for them and for our own unemployed people should be the object. Of course many of the Belgians are perhaps not fit for work just now, but those who have lost all their belongings and are able bodies must be very keen to get something to do. I was disgusted to see in a London paper a suggestion that in regard to the Belgians, charity begins at home, when one thinks of all they have suffered and lost while so great a proportion of our own population remain in comfort and full possession of their property it’s pretty sickening to know that such selfish spirit not only exists but expresses itself openly. However I suppose even a big war isn’t going to change all bad natures into good ones. I expect later on in the campaign we’ll see some of the destruction in France and Belgium: at present one sees only destruction of lives, and that not so acutely as at the front.
I expect Mela is especially pleased to have the chance of nursing wounded men. I hope she’ll like being at the General at Birmingham.
I’ve been writing a sort of diary before I forget and have nearly got it up-to-date.
With very much love to you all.
From your son