Reading War Hosp.
Dec. 23rd 1918
Dear Mother :-
Quite a bit of Canadian mail this week but nothing from you. However there will be more along soon.
The Xmas rush is on now and we get out of the work of decorating the wards etc. by being on night duty. We had a busy time this morning through shopping for the men. The Loyalist Chapter sent Mary and me each two pounds and I was able to buy cigars and cigarettes and Christmas crackers out of it also put a share towards the buns and coffee we are giving them when we wake them up in the morning. We have 75 patients so it takes a lot to go round.
The night staff Xmas dinner is being held to-morrow night at 7 at our quarters. There are about 25 of us including Sisters, V.A.D.’s & I epect the Matron and the two asst. Matrons will be present. We are allowed extension of 2 hours so won’t come on duty till 10. We will just wear our uniform. The day staff are having theirs on Thursday night at Park House. It is to be a fancy dress affair, I believe.
On Monday night the 30th there is to be a dance for the nursing staff. I am coming off night duty that day, Crocket also & as we are going up to town we won’t be here for it. I have 3 days leave (my November December January days off) so will probably do some shopping. I must get a new suit before Semi comes on leave again. He expects to get leave early in the New Year. I hope it is the first of February as my contract here will be up then and I will be able to get away allright.
I tried to send cards to everyone who gave me something when I came away but of course I may have left some out. I think I will keep this letter over till to-morrow night and add more to it then
Dec 26th 1918
Haven’t had a chance to add anything to this since we have been so busy. Tuesday night we had our Xmas dinner and had such a jolly time a nice dinner too – turkey, plum pudding, trifle, fruit & candy. The tables were decorated so prettily too. We had a busy night on duty so we had to see that all the mens parcels and stockings were at their besides and then prepare for their early morning treat which consisted of coffee, cake, cigars, and Xmas crackers.
The orderlies came around at 3 o’clock in the morning singing most beautiful carols. We had to have them in and gave them coffee and cake, so we had a very busy night. I was so tired yesterday (Xmas day) that I slept from 9.30 in the morning till 6.30 in the evening.
Got such a lovely parcel from the church to-day just like they sent the boys at the front I expect. It was from the Home Dept. Must write and thank them got two boxes from Katie one had a cake & little drop cakes, the other presents for Semi, Mary, myself & Mar and Daphne, I will send on but Daphne's will have to go back to Canada. My present is a beautiful mauve crepe de chenin and lace dressing gown. It is too lovely for anything. Just what I wanted. You know Daphne did me the nightie in mauve & boudoir cap and also have me a pair of satin slippers to match so I was thinking of getting a dressing gown of the same shade myself. I also got cards from Vivian, Isabel, Jack, Fraser Campbell and Mary & Harold Schofield and a letter from Cousin [?]. She said you hadn’t been very well lately and as I haven’t heard from you for two mails I am a bit worried. Do hope you are all right now.
Got a letter from Semi this morning saying he was getting leave (two weeks) the 10th of January so I came right down to Matron and I am getting two weeks leave too. Will stay on nights duty till then as will probably stay in London a few days and then go to Scotland. Would also like to go to Cambridge for a day and see Frances and Bumps.
I cut your fruit cake last night and it was delicious.
Well dear I must get some more letters written. I sent a little photo to the aunts also one to Uncle Ed.
Don’t over do it now, take things easy. We want to find you looking well when we all get home and it won’t be long now.
Ever so much love