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Date: March 15th 1919

Park House

Parkside Rd

Reading, Berks

March 15/19

Dearest Mother:-

I don’t think I have written you since my Winchester trip and I have had two letters from you since then one Monday night written Feb 21st and another by to-night’s post written March 2nd. I have just come off duty and finished my tea. Was going out but it has started to rain and besides I have heaps of letters I ought to write. The days pass so quickly that I never seem to get any written. No I never write to the aunties so I never seemed to have the time and anyway I think it is their place to write to me. I sent them one of those little magazines with an account of the wedding inside and said I was continuing my work at the Reading War Hospital so they know where I am all right. I also sent one of the little photos taken in my outdoor uniform but have never heard from them. They have more time than I have. When you only have 3 hrs. to yourself each day you don’t always feel like spending it writing letters. I owe so many people still for letters of congratulations that I often wonder when I will get them written. Edith Baird sent Marioin C & me the 5 lbs of chocolates last week and John Sayre sent Mary and me each a lovely big box so that’s two more thank you letters I must get off.

I think I told you in my last letter that I was going to Oxford on my half day last week but it rained so hard that we went up to London instead. Its no use going sightseeing on a wet day. Had a look around the shops in Town, had tea & then to a music hall and got back here at 10.50.

On Sunday nights Mary and I went to Winchester . Left here at 6.27 and got to Winchester at 8 o’clock I am enclosing post cards one of the old inn we stayed at and the other of the Cathedral.  Winchester is such an historical city used to be the old capital. The Hostel of God-Begot was built in 1081. It is quite the queerest old place I have ever been in. The bed-rooms all have little brass knockers on the door and are named after old Kings and Queens the room we slept in was called Queen Emma. It had a lovely old mahogany bed in it and if you please the next morning Mary bought it. I laughed till I was sore it all struck me so funny. We got to be great friends with the proprietor & she took us out to her own home and showed us all her old stuff and would have sold us any of it. We spent most of the next morning going through the cathedral. It is a magnificent old building and we were in every nook & corner of it from the crypt underneath to the top of the tower and out on the roof. Inside it is 560 feet long and the longest in the world next to St. Peters at Rome.  Wm. II is buried there and chests  by the alter that contains the bones of some of the Saxon Kings.  We didn't see the bones although the verger let us chime the bell and help wind up the big clock in the tower.

At 3 o’clock we went to the station and met Purd, Kit and Jean Daniel. They had the half day and came up from Southampton to spend it with us. We had tea at William the Conquerers Palace such a queer tumble down old place. They had to leave at 6.30 but we stayed on till 8.30 and got back here at 10. The 3 at Southampton are staying till June or July. They are all looking well and seemed to be enjoying life. Alice McKeen is being married to Percy Cuthbert sometime in April.

Semi still thinks he will be in England by the first of April. The Colonel wants him to take the battery back to Canada but if he has to do that he won’t be able to travel back with me so he is trying to get out of it. I am staying here till No. 2 Section closes which is the 31st of March and do hope that Semi gets here the 1st of April. You can keep on sending letter to Park House though as they will always forward my mail. I can’t really tell you yet when we will get home but it won’t be till the end of April. I’m sure

Poor Stan is having bad luck. I had a letter from him from London on Thursday saying he was coming down to see me and know what afternoon I could get off and yesterday afternoon I had a wire saying “Alison dangerously ill leaving for France to-morrow”., She had had a relapse but was much better & I had a letter from her about a week ago. I do hope she pulls through as I’m afraid Stan wouldn't get over it very easily.

As for getting married before he gets settled and a good practice I think it would be very very foolish & I hope he doesn't do anything like that. He doesn’t know anything about women and their extravagances and anyway it no way to start married life by living with your in laws. You wouldn’t catch me doing,  Of course Semi & I may stay with you for awhile and also the Mackays till we get a house or a place to board but not for very long I can tell you.

I had a very nice letter from Mrs. Mackay this week. She said Cam was down with them for a change.

Sem is getting so tired of hanging around Belgium doing nothing. He is still at a little village 4 miles from Mons. It does seem such a waste of time.

Len Barker & his battery are quite near him.  Stan wrote that Atwood had gone and Lady Allan's Convalescent Home in Devonshire.

So sorry to hear father has a cold. Hope by now it is quite better.

Isn’t Mrs. Fisher too funny for anything. It is odd though when she’s so prejudice that way that her only daughter and favorite son should marry a widower & widow.

Mary and I had a party in our room last Saturday night just 8 kindred spirits and two of the other girls are having one to night.

Crocket is back from Convalascent Home and on duty again. She has signed for another 6 months but may break her contract. In fact I don’t think V.A.D. will be needed much after May as one hospital after another is gradually closing down.

The garden here is getting to look lovely – the almond trees are all covered with such pretty pink blossoms (which  come before the leaves), then there are rows of primroses, crocuses, daffodils, and  snowdrops in bloom. They say Park House gardens is wonderful in May and that there is a painting of it in the Royal  Academy. I would like to be here when all the rhododenrons,  hydrangeas etc are in bloom for it must  be a mass of color.

Well now it is after 7 & the supper bell will ring any moment so I will have to stop. I imagine Atwood will get sent back to Canada very soon I hope so anyway

Love to you and father,


P.S. I haven’t heard from Hazel lately but perhaps I owe her a letter. I hope you have saved that little copy of Canada I sent you with the piece about my wedding in it. You never me a paper or a clipping that mentioned it from [?] I always keep looking for something.

Original Scans

Original Scans