No 9 General Hospital
My dear Mother
It seems some time since I last wrote to you. We have had a bitter northwest wind now for several days, and I for one will be glad when it goes, for all the huts are raised from the ground a bit and the wind comes through the floors with great ease. I find five blankets none too many at nights.
Work has been fairly quiet lately, and many of my patients are gone out well: still I always have a pretty busy morning. This afternoon I went with two others from here into the town, and we had a look round St Ouen and the Cathedral. St Ouen inside is magnificent I think, and I shall go there often to get a better idea of it: it is remarkable how little it is marred by tawdry side chapels and decorations as compared with most RC cathedrals.
The cathedral outside is fine, the inside hardly up to the standard of its prototype St Ouen – but historically it is wonderfully interesting, as we had a good description of some fine tombs in the apse chapel. Were you ever shown the cardinals’ hats suspended from the roofs opposite various cardinals tombs? I’ve quite made up my mind that if possible some day Mary and I must visit Rouen at a happier time. It is a very fascinating town especially if one likes history.
I can imagine Cyril is much keener on the machine gun work, I always thought he should have joined the artillery arm but perhaps that was not possible. I notice the marked youthfulness of new officers coming out. From all accounts they lack nothing in spirit and courage. It is to be hoped that most of them will get sufficient experience in the fighting line to learn to use themselves wisely as well as bravely before they get into the heaviest fighting.
I suppose things are very quiet at home, have any women of the district “mobilised”, I think the move a good one, why not women as postmen, concierges, clerks, footmen, butlers, packers, shopmen etc, etc, where at present these jobs are held by men.
Well Mother dear I hope you are keeping well now and able to get out.
With much love to all.
From your son
PS - Is Mary likely to be coming to you for another visit soon? I hope if it’s feasible she will, a little change will help to keep her cheerful. Her sewing is I think a great joy to her.