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Date: June 12th 1915

June 12th. 1915.

My dearest Mother:

Your dear letter I have read and re-read and I know, dear, how brave you are to let me go, and I love you so for it. I have struggled hard to try and make myself believe that I could stay at home, but somehow I had a feeling that I could never look myself in the face again if I did, and I know from experience that the bitterest of all things to endure his self-accusation and the loss of self-esteem.

At times it has seemed to me that my whole previous 24 years of life have been more or less wasted or rather that having spent that long in preparing myself for one path in life and having for that time called for many sacrifices from you all to help me along, that it is almost selfish now suddenly to take to new paths which others could probably follow with greater ability than I. All I can do, dear, is to ask you to believe that I do not wish to be selfish. There comes a time I suppose when everyone must break away for themselves and make a decision of some kind or another, and I have had to make mine. And although it takes me from you for a while, yet everything I love and cherish remains with you and I pray that I shall some day before long come back to you all again.

I have written Fern a long letter about the voyage over which she will read to you. Just a sort of diary of the various interesting points which I thought you might like to hear. To-day, Saturday, we enter the danger zone and hope to be at our port by Sunday night if all is well, although the captain does not yet know where it is. He is steering to a point given him by the Admiralty where I presume we pick up an envoy about noon to-morrow. To-night we dash forward absolutely dark. Any man lighting a cigarette or match on deck gets put out of the way without much quibbling, according to special orders issued this morning. We carry out life belts wherever we go and wear our pistols at all times. At the first alarm of submarine in sight, into life belts and below decks to give the crew a perfectly free hand to manoeuvre out of danger. If we are struck, the alarm blows and all muster on deck, but we stick to the ship says the Captain till it is sinking under our feet.

If anything should happen, which is extremely unlikely, I shall try and send this letter in the boat that carries the Nurses, as it will no doubt get away safely and be free from gunfire on account of the Red Cross Flag it carries. However, you will know before you get this that we have arrived O. K.

My dearest love to Dad and the girls, and to you, Nennie Mother,

Original Scans

Original Scans