My dear Father
I have been too busy to write lately, but expect you’ll want news of me.
I was sent down here on Tuesday, as we had between 40 and 50 patients put into a French hospital here, and although the French were tending them it is always found advisable to have an English doctor there, for several reasons. A Major Forrest RAMC was here at first, but has now left, leaving me in sole charge, so I have a good deal of administrative detail to attend to as well as care of patients. There are resident doctors at the hospital, and I couldn’t find quarters there, so I live here and go in as often as seems necessary, and if I disapprove of any treatment I get it altered. They must think me rather a nuisance, but I get my own way and we don’t appear to quarrel.
I have now three nurses, and find them very helpful; we have some bad pneumonia cases. As the patients improve, I have to arrange their transport either to the base or to other hospitals. I sent six off on Friday, and hope to send about 12 tomorrow. I expect I’ll be here the best part of another three weeks, and then apply for instructions. We had many A & N people in the town, but they have all gone save two Naval men, and they go soon. However I’ll be fairly busy all along I expect. This town is mostly a filthy dockyard place, but the western side on the sea front looks nice, and all the coast in that direction.
I have to talk lots of French now, and the interpreter at the hospital doesn’t get much employment; I find it easier without him as a rule. As one of the French officers said when I protested my French was bad, “en tout ças vous arrivez!” and that’s the important thing.
I’m reasonably comfortable here, would prefer to live in English style and more cheaply but there’s no other place, and I have to be on the phone.
I have received Mary’s first letter, but none other yet, I hope they’ll come in due course. Address here until about 5th March; a few days later than that I may be moving.
I hope all colds are better. It seems ages already since I was at home.
I’m glad Mary stayed on some time at home, it was better since she will have a long sojourn down in South Wales.
With much love to all.
Your affectionate son