British Expeditionary Force
NB – No 2 Base is now some other town, AFS
My dear Mother
We have heavy rain here and the low-lying country is mostly flooded. Please note my remark about the address, and will you tell people always to put RAMC after my name as it is only by one’s “unit” that names can be traced. The army Post Office has very stupidly applied No 2 now to some other base, and I’m rather afraid my letters and papers may get astray. I got May’s letter two days ago marked “unable to trace” etc, after some wanderings.
The Observer of Nov 28 has come, but no Spectator for some time. My patients ought before long to be off my hands, and then I expect I’ll have to pack up. I doubt whether Mary will be able to come with me, as I hear there are orders issued preventing officers’ wives from staying at some of the base towns, probably owing to restricted accommodation, and of course if I’m not at a base it will be out of the question.
On Friday we had a most pleasing afternoon, a Naval man, Captain Crawford stationed here gave a little tea party at his hotel, with music afterwards. He is a very fine pianist and gave us single-handed an excellent programme; I had heard no music since leaving England.
I had letters from Jack and George recently, and also from Harold Schenk; he gets no encouragement from his firm towards enlisting, and having a wife and baby to provide for I think quite rightly stays at home. Walter has been rejected by the doctor and is much disgusted, and the third boy is in the Public Schools Battalion. I hope Badsey will send more men yet; unmarried men have not all yet rolled up yet apparently. I was calculating that according to its total population Badsey ought to send nearly 70 men altogether to the army and Territorials if it is doing its share towards supplying the men asked for by the Government.
Naval news this week has been very cheering, and military reports sound satisfactory. The fact remains however that after nearly five months of war the Germans have not been pushed back appreciably. Still their offensive has failed, and the rest is a matter of time and persistence.
I expect your little hospital will hardly come into use for a while yet, as things seem to have been slacker in Belgium just lately. I think the policy of sending a few men to village hospitals has much to commend it.
This should reach you a few days before Xmas. We shall both be thinking much of you all at that time, and feel very lucky to be here together for our first Xmas of married life. I wonder if either of the boys will get any leave just then.
Please thank May very much for her interesting letter and with love to you all, and many good wishes for Xmas.
From your son