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Date: June 1st 1916

The House, No.8 Wharf,
North Wharf Road,
Paddington. W.

June 1st 1916

Dearest Mother.

I guess it is nearly time that I wrote & told you how well I am getting on. I have been going on fine this last fortnight. Have just come from hospital now & doctor is very pleased with the progress I am making. Now my poor darling has been in hospital for nearly a fortnight, but seems to be going on alright & expects to be out next week. I guess he has written you from hospital. It will be 3 weeks on Sat: since I have seen him & Oh! such a long 3 wks. I think he would have come up this Sat if he hadn’t been in hospital, but I am looking forward to perhaps seeing him the following weeks & maybe he will get a few days sick leave. I hope so any way. The little animal is still keeping good & I am greatly looking forward to all the nice things you are getting ready for it. It is sure some lucky kid to have so many fairy god-mothers.

I am afraid I come of rather a nervous family but will do my best for the little engineeress. We both want a girl, so I guess you will have to be disappointed. My nerves got very run down when I was feeling so ill, but they are much stronger now, so I hope it will be alright. I want a nice healthy, happy little baby, not a poor weakly little thing, Harold was out giving it away a little while ago. Now he is all in a hurry to see it & wants to take it to work to play with, I tell him he might get quite enough of it at night & won’t want it in the day-time. I think he would like to have a peep at it to see how it is getting on, I don’t think you will have the pleasure of seeing Harold & I before baby arrives as we are not so certain by any means over here that the war will be over this year. They are taking all our men now. All the married men up to 40. Lots have gone already & the others go up next week. It is an awful breaking up of homes. It is an awfully serious problem how the wives are ever going to live on $5 a week. & you have no idea what a price everything is. I had to smile when we got the Vancouver papers of Dec: & Jan: with Spencers price list in. You were then saying in your letters how dear food was & our prices then in nearly very instance were double yours & they are still rising. Last week steak was 50 cents per lb & mutton from 36 cents. Milk 12 cents a quart. & butter from 36 cents. The majority of nut butters & margerine are 25 cts per lb. I am sure that you are bigger than the other Grandma. as I am only 5 ft 2 ½ in & Mother is much shorter than I am & I guess she doesn’t go more than 120 lbs if as much. My sister is ever so much better looks remarkably well. But she will never be able to earn her own living & I am afraid she will be a lot of trouble on her step-father’s hands. More than his own two little ones, who are deaf & therefore cannot speak. The girl is 13 this month & is as tall as the elder one. & the boy is 11 & they are both learning trades & at 16 will be both capable of earning their own living. We are expecting to see my soldier brother who is 18, this week-end from Sat: to Sunday. Poor boy, he has been roughing it all the winter on Salisbury Plain (I guess you have heard of that place from some of the Canadians). & this is the first time he has been able to get away for nearly four mths. The last time was a week-end sick leave & he came up for Mother to nurse him. But he says he is feeling fit & strong now & don’t know how he will be able to live in a town now. But says he means to enjoy himself when he comes up. But Poor Boy, he won’t have much time as he doesn’t get up here until Sat: evening. & of course everybody will want him. He is such a favorite. I don’t think there is the least chance of me crossing the Lerring pond before the war is settled, Why, I should be fieghtened out of my skin every minute of the time with all these German submarines about. I am so very pleased with the little photo which you sent me of Harold, It is more like him as he is now than any I have seen. So you want to know what size feet I possess, Well, I guess you will laugh as I take English sixes in shoes. The same size as Harold only he can’t get into them at all. I don’t know how your sizes in stockings go out there, but I take medium here. Harold sent me on your letter of 30. 4. 16 & I got it this morning. I am awfully sorry about the letter which I didn’t address properly I don’t know how it happened unless I was extra tired at night when I did it, but I wonder Harold didn’t notice it when he posted it in the morning. I have just been out for a walk with Mother & gee it is cold and windy I could have done with my furs & they call this month, “flaming June,” such is our English weather. I have finished the cushion cover which Greta sent me. I hope she is feeling better poor girl.

With best Love I remain your affectionate daughter


Original Scans

Original Scans

Irwin.Harold.1916.06.01.01 Irwin.Harold.1916.06.01.02 Irwin.Harold.1916.06.01.03 Irwin.Harold.1916.06.01.04