My dear Ethel,
You will have probably learnt from Arthur’s letter, if not otherwise, the painful news that your cousin Hubert fell in action at Pieters Hill on Feb 27th, the final battle that brought about the relief of Ladysmith and it seems sad that he and other brave fellows should never know of the deliverance of that town for which they had so nobly fought and died. You can imagine what a terrible grief it is to the Brussels circle and I think the Richmond folk feel it nearly as keenly.
I had started on my Pandy and Newport journey on Thursday before Evesham heard the great news of that day so I missed all the rejoicings there, at Badsey bells were rung, flags displayed and general satisfaction prevailed. I daresay Arthur told you how they received the news. Georgie says two of their boys were in bed with sore throats from extreme shouting and two others could only speak in a whisper, they had a half holiday.
As you say the weather is rather Lenten but anything is nice after so long a spell of wet. I have just had the kitchen garden drained so I hope it will soon be fit to dig and crop, it was regularly water logged. To-day I came down to dinner and remained at home to do some gardening, completed the pruning of the currants and gooseberries in the kitchen garden.
My bicycle looks as good as new and runs well, I had not used it for so long I thought I should almost have forgotten how to ride.
I am sending some newspaper extracts, on March 3 you will see a short notice of poor Hubert’s promising career under “Officers killed”, also some of the Queen’s messages and interesting facts about Ladysmith, in the issue of 6th inst you will like to read about the grand entry of the victorious troops into Ladysmith on March 3rd it must have been a stirring sight.
With love to you both
your affectionate Father