Jan. 1st 1917
Dearest Mother and Father,
I have had letters from you both since I last wrote but the last week has been such a busy one that letter writing was out of the question. I have so much to write about that it would take me a day or two before I finish this. First thing I suppose you would like to hear all about the presents I got and who from and who sent me cards etc. Well I mentioned getting your box and Jean [?] in my last also the one from the church. The next one that came was from Mary Mae. It contained a lovely fruit cake almond [?] and all, a film pack for the camera she gave me, a dear little hankie, two cakes of milk chocolate and another half from Mrs. Macharem. The next day a box arrived from Mrs. [?] and Doris. It was most beautifully packed. The box was a round trim one with a hinged cover and was all covered with [?] so makes a lovely box to keep. Everything inside was gone up in separate little Xmas boxes and it was quite exciting opening it. There were doughnuts and fairy cakes at the bottom, above that raisin caramels, salted peanuts, tin of [?] powder, 2 lovely handkerchiefs lovely net collar, [?] [?] and chewing gum. Now wasn’t it lovely of them. I haven’t had a minute to sit down and thank them yet. You must mention to them when you see them how much I appreciated their thoughtfulness also Mrs. Mac and Mary too and Jean [?]. Of course I will write to them all in time but I want you to speak about it too. [?] sent a big 5 [?] box of [?] chocolates. Mrs. Perry [?] a calendar and [?] a card. Hazel and Fred’s box of apples arrived Xmas Eve in perfect condition and you have no idea how we have enjoyed [?] [?] to them and then I have been able to [?] the other girls. [?] Armstrong sent me 2 dozen beautiful white and yellow chrysanthemums from London. Even the 3 boys that we met on the [?] [?] over didn’t forget us. Lieut. Jemmett sent us each one of his regimental badges made into a pin one is in the Canadian Engineers is an [?] in hospital. [?] Percy [?] who has gone to India in the Imperial Army sent me ½ dozen India silk handkerchiefs. He was only about 22 [?] such a nice boy and I think I told you about he and his sister taking us out in London. Lieut [?] sent us each cards. Kip sent me a beautiful bottle of real French perfume. I got cards from Vivian, Mrs. Roy Campbell, Grace Cameron, [?] [?], Mrs. Henderson (the lady who came over with us) Mrs. J.P. Barnes [?] and Buff, Mrs. Schofield Frances [?] the Blairs, Mrs. [?] [?] [?] etc. Mrs. Murray [?] sent us each a box of chocolates and Mrs. [?] that lady who lives in Leeds and whose daughter is a V.A.D. at [?] [?] [?] Home sent us a lovely cake. Now did you ever hear told of such [?]. [?] [?] made me such a pretty boudoir cap. M. [?] gave me an autograph album Eva Mae sent me a [?] hankie and Mrs. Frisk did too before she left. Miss Martin the senior V.A.D. in my ward gave me a lovely rose pink china vase to match out candlesticks and Miss Clark also in my ward a little custom cover box full of [?] the sisters and nurses in St. [?] gave each V.A.D. a very pretty calendar and then “Sister” [?] gave me a little special gift of a handkerchief and from the Leeds Ladies Committee that visits our ward I got a pin cushion. At our place [?] breakfast Xmas morning was an [?] [?] a ten schilling [?] for each junior V.A.D. and a pound for the seniors. [?] we really earned as it was supposed to have been the [?] on our meals. The sister in charge of the Fairfax is [?] so much by the war office for each girl for meals so by nearly starving us she managed to be able to give us that at Xmas. Think I would rather have had more to eat. Jean [?] sent me [?] lingerie strings and Helen [?] a bolt of [?] ribbon also had a lovely long letter from Beulah. Now I suppose you would like to hear how I happened to have a visit from Fraser-Campbell. [?] when I first arrived in Leeds, I wrote him and sent the letter to his Scotland home. I never had an answer so thought nothing more of it. the day Marrion Magie said she had a boy in her ward who had been in Fraser’s co of the A + S. so she asked him where he was and he replied Ripon. Now Ripon is only about 20 or 30 miles from here so I thought I would send him a card for Xmas, Two days after I sent the card (it was last Saturday) I got a wire from him saying “what time can I get you on phone to-day Give your phone number”. Well as we’re not allowed to use thhe ‘phone I wired back (the answer was prepaid) not allowed to use ‘phone. Off duty to-morrow from 2-00. Would like to see you if you could come. Next day (Sunday) at dinner time one of the girls came in and said there was someone to see me so out I went to the hall and there was Fraser in his kilt looking very fine. We went for a walk and then he had to catch the 4.30 train back to Ripon. Now I must tell you the funny [?] about the whole thing. He was only in Ripon for the weekend as he and his mother came there to spend Xmas with his brother who was leaving the middle of the week for the front. He arrived there Friday morning got my card on Saturday and arrived at once as he wanted to phone me and see if I couldn’t come to Ripon and spend Xmas day with he and his mother at the spa hotel there. When he found he couldn’t phone me, he decided to come over and see me and still wanted me to spend Xmas day with them but of course that was quite out of the question for we never [?} left the wards the whole of Xmas day. He is stationed at [?] in Scotland as [?] [?] are the [?] [?] there. Had never got the letter I wrote him of course he returned to [?] on Tuesday. Wasn’t it funny though that my card should just catch him when he was there. [?] Mackay was about the only friend that entirely forgot me and then [?] tries to make me believe that I am the only girl he is interested in. Must go back on duty now. will try finish this to-night if the rumors of a convoy are [?].
Tuesday Jan. 2 1917
The convoy didn’t come last night but is expected to-night. I am half-daying so hardly think I will be called back on duty. After I started this yesterday I got the loveliest box from Catherine and [?] [?]. It was for both Marrion M and myself. There was candy dulce, Xmas bonbons, a pair of scissors for each of us and a little box of [?] for each then Catherine sent me a little [?] [?] in a nickel case and a gold piece of $2.50 to use for my wounded men. Wasn’t it sweet of them. Also got a book from Aunt Bess and Clara, a little address book from Eva and a Happy New Year cable from Mary and [?]. The boys of our two wards gave each of the V.A.D.’s yesterday, a little [?] set in a [?] and have sister a [?] and [?] in a case. We did a box for them at Xmas though so I expect they appreciated it. I [?] Miss Rowans $5 [?] the Xmas [?] for the men and added $5 more to it myself. We V.A.D.’s gave each of the [?] men in our two wards a case containing a military [?], a comb and a mirror which came to 7 R. They spent a very jolly Xmas, we hired a piano for the [?] for the whole week. We had a picture of the ward taken Xmas day just after the boys had finished dinner and when they are finished I will send you one. Sunday night we filled 72 stockings which were hung at the head of their beds by the night sister. The dinner was at 12.30 and all the bed patients were moved into one ward (there was 28 in bed) and the other 44 [?] at a long [?] that worked well down the ward. It looked so pretty when it was set with little Xmas trees jars of flowers [?] and Xmas crackers strewn around. The 4 big turkeys were carved in the ward by the doctor and we nurse and V.A.D.’s waited on the men of course there was plum pudding which was brought in from the kitchen on fire and each man had a mug of beer. After the dinner things were cleared away, they had a [?] drive there were 12 [?] [?] we nurses played too and the prizes were lovely, then we dance Sir Roger [?] [?] [?] and they [?] at 9 an hour later than usual. Our wards were beautifully decorated, quite the prettiest of the [?] I thought. The holly here is so lovely such a shiny green and such red cherries. We had quantities of it also ivy and laurel. We of course got no off duty, in fact had some [?] [?] with the exception of Wednesday when I was off a few hours on the [?] Xmas morning the head sister let me go down to the Presbyterian services in matron’s office. [?] [?] was allowed off too only lasted ½ hour. Tuesday night the nurses and V.A.D.’s [?] was held in the big assembly hall for the walking patients and Wednesday night for the bed patients I will send you a paper with an account of it in it. It was an awful job on Wednesday to get the bed patients then, they had to be carried on [?] and operation carriages taken down in the elevator and deposited on beds in the hall. We had 10 to go so I was in the [?] I had to leave the ward at 5.30 as the affairs started at 6 then as soon as our [?] was over I had to hustle into uniform to keep [?] the patients back and then on top of all that a huge convoy arrived at 9 oclock. It was a very tiring day – as we had no off duty time and didn’t get to bed till 11.30. Thursday afternoon we had a [?] [?] in the ward given by [?] [?] [?] [?] one on Friday. On Thursday we were allowed to have [?]…other wards drop in for tea too. On…afternoon I was invited up to the Officers ward for tea. Some of them requested to meet me after the performance so one of the V.A.D.’s there invited me up on Friday. Most of them are typical English [?] though. Saturday night we had our fancy dress dinner and as ther were 90 of us you can imagine it was quite an affair. The tables looked lovely and [?] a great deal of trouble was taken over it. We had [?] turkey, plum pudding, minced pie, trifle, fruit nut and raisins and [?] cup. Also Xmas crackers and [?] of all kinds. After dinner we danced and played cards. [?] of course was at it and I saw [?] her left. She didn’t know she was to sit at the table, but Sister [?] told me to sit there and I think she knew [?] is [?] nice to the three of us, much more than to some of the others. Sister [?] favors us a bit too. To-night Mary and I are having our supper sent up to our bed rooms as we both have the evening off. I am undressed and ready for bed as I want to get a good nights sleep. [?] [?] had a letter from Mrs. [?] to-day and she sent us each the sweetest little hankies. I also had cards from Isabel, Jack, and [?] [?]. We are going to have some of your pound cake with our supper to-night. It is delicious. I am so glad you sent me the money. I would rather have it than anything else. It was funny being away from home at Xmas but we were so rushed and [?] that I hadn’t time to get homesick….to Hazel I really won’t have time to write her too and it would take so long to write the same things all over again. It may [?] a little [?] but hope you will be able to make some sense out of it.
Love to all,
P.S. They all loved my Indian costume. It looked fine
Dear Hazel I am making this to you [?] [?] Have been looking for a letter from you for quite a while. I thought I would surely get [?] from you to-day
P.S. this letter is [?] being [?]