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Date: December 26th 1915
Miss Shand
Lena A. Davis

no 4 Canadian General Hospital
Dec 26. 1915.

My dear Miss Shand-

(Your letter was almost a christmas letter as it arrived to-day. It did seem a long time since I had heard from you and I was just beginning to think your letter must have gone astray. But I know you have been very busy with the military hospital work and I think Queen St has done splendidly.)

Our xmas is over once more and while a very different one from last year I think I may say it was a very pleasant one. The weather favored us and both Christmas eve and Christmas day were glorious. Christmas eve was crisp and clear with a full moon and a clear sky. A party of singers marched all through the camp singing very pretty xmas carrols in the early evening , and later after we had all retired to our own tents the bag pipes entertained us all. We all hung up our stockings on the tent pole and old Santa did not forget us although we were in Greece. The patients are really wonderful in the good spirits they always show. We thought our wards were going to be very devoid of any kind of xmas decoration but a couple of days before xmas the convalescent patients caught the xmas spirit and it was really wonderful what they did with a little bit of absorbent cotton, the colored paper in which it comes and red handkerchiefs. They made paper flowers with the paper also chains of it which was strung from side to side of the tent. With the wool they made all kinds of mottos on the tent walls. Beside the mottos Merry xmas and Happy New Years some of the mottos were “Thanks to The University of Toronto Hospital” “Success to the Allies” “England thanks Canada” “Long live the memory of brave Nurse Cavell” “God strafe the Kaiser” and many others. They were their own ideas entirely and they took such pleasure in it all. In my own ward we pushed several of the beds in one corner and improvised a table so that all who could possibly be up might gather around the table for their xmas dinner. They seemed to enjoy it all very much in spite of the fact that the table cloth was a sheet and our vase for the holly a lantern chimney wrapped in a red handkerchief. We did not have turkey for them but had plum pudding, apples, nuts and a few candies.

Our own dinner was also a decided success. It was a fine bright day so we had the sides of our mess tent rolled to the top making it seem as if we were eating out doors although I can assure you it was no August weather. We had turkey, plum pudding, candies, nuts etc. I think they must have thought of xmas before we left England and brought their xmas supply with them. In the evening the new commissioned officers and men got up a very good concert. It was held in a larg tent and I think ever member of the unit was there. They had printed and illustrated programs which were sold for a penny at the door. (Major McVicar came around in the morning and brought a picture of Dr and Mrs Clare with Jim and Harvey which he had just received Jim is indeed growing. I thought it was splendid of them all) I must tell Harvey you [written above Harvey] about the little soldier boy we have here.) [[arrow pointing to the right] We seem bound to have a little mascot where ever we go. This little boy is a Canadian and about twelve years of age. He came all the way from British Columbia down here as a stowaway. He stopped in France for a few months and I believe was right up in the firing line. He wears a Soldiers suit and never meets any officers or sister but what he salutes very nicely. He seems to like it here and I think has decided to make his home with us for awhile [arrow pointing to the left]]. (Mr Williams came around yesterday morning to wish me Merry xmas and we could not help speaking of the place in which we had said the same thing last year. It is very kind of you to send me a remembrance in Major Mac Vicars parcel I do appreciate it very much. Not many of the nurses have received xmas parcels as yet. I suppose on account of all our wandering. Mother has sent me a parcel which has not yet arrived. So we all have something to look forward to. On xmas eve I received a box of Candies from Toronto Sent Oct 1st. Strange to say they were in good condition. You can see how long it takes.

Emma told me that she and my cousins were very much interested in seeing the work you have been doing and she also told me about your pretty new dress) Every one seems to have the idea that we have been in Alexandria. We were not there at all. Our officers and men were there but we were on a different boat which did not touch Alexandria. No the conditions here are not as good as they were in France but really I am enjoying it much more here. In that beautiful Golf Hotel with every thing at your hand one could hardly imagine you were on active service. But everything here is primitive indeed. With Mother Earth for our carpet, packing boxes for cupboards and candles for light we don’t put on very much style.

(So Miss Pac and Mr McClurg are married. I wonder if Mr McClurg is still at the [?] Hospital. Yes I have heard from several sources about Miss Scott’s departure. It is unfortunate too. Well there goes the Bugale which says “Lights out.”

There is one thing about the life which I like and that is “early to bed”

With love to Miss C Clare, Miss Mac and Miss Coombs
My address is still the same London address)

Sincerely Yours,
Lena A. Davis.


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