Nov 24th. 1916.
Dear Miss Shand-
Your letter addressed to me here at Margate arrived a few days ago. Yes I received your letter you speak of as all my mail, even yet goes through 86 Strand and will continue to do so no matter where I am. Mrs. Baillie has not been out to see me yet. It may be Major Baillie has moved as they rather expected when we were there. So Alice is coming back to you. Is it not funny how the old country people stick to Canada. I should liked to have heard Dr. Mc Kenzie lecture. I should imagine he would make a fairly good speaker. Are you dissappointed or otherwise at staying on in Toronto? The war upsets many arrangements, no they are not letting me come home. I had secretly hoped they might but nothing doing. I suppose I could have counted upon about a week at home had I cared to use my five weeks to make the trip but hardly thought it fair as I would be rushing round and would not be very fit for duty when my leave was up. You ask about Cpl Williams. The day I myself was taken ill he came down to my ward saying he was not very well, so I dosed him up to the best of my ability and I never heard after wards whether he got down sick or not but I don’t think so as he never left Salonika. Of course I was hustled off before I was able to get around and see any body. Your new suit sounds very pretty. Yes I remember the little black hat you bought. Mother is wearing mine with a different mount on. In fact it seems as if I ought to be dead with all my old clothes adorning different of my relatives. You ask about my weight I weigh one hundred and forty seven. I went one hundred and seventy two when I left Toronto. Still I could afford to lose. I have never been so homesick as during these past weeks. I guess it is because I have time to think and it is getting near christmas. I do indeed wish I were home helping you make the xmas candy. Do you still have the dances and does Billie Halliday still take a shine to all the visitors? We have two nurses here now who are Kingston graduates and who were mobilized at Queen St. Miss Pedman and Miss Black. You must have had a dreadful time housing and feeding so many for so long. Do you remember Miss Leslie of Kingston? She is with Queen’s Unit in France.
I went up to London for my second medical Board on Nov 14th -and as I had had two returning attacks of Malaria they gave me an extension of three weeks. The day in London made me terribly tired and I came down to Margate and straight way had another little attack. I wonder if it is ever going to stop. None of the other sisters have any return of it what ever. They told me my kind was malignant so perhaps that is the reason. I go up for another board in a week so hope I shall be able for duty then.
Did you see the account of the sinking of the Brittanic Hospital Ship? She was built to replace the Titanic so you may know she will be a loss. She was sunk just a little way out of Salonika on her way down for a load of wounded. We very nearly came up on her on her previous trip- that is we knew she was about due to sail and it was thought we might get our orders to sail on her. However we will never get orders to sail on her now.
Has Dr. Cumberland left the R.A.M.C and joined the C.A.M.C? I saw in the orders where T.J. Cumberland had been made Captain. Those were his initials were they not? Has Miss Jean Johnston been to see Mrs Clare? She has been in Salonika and could tell you all about the country down there. Four more sisters and two officers are on their way now from Salonika, so one by one they leave. The weather is dismal and cold here now and it gets dark so early. At four oclock it is dark enough to light up.
Dr. Clark’s daughter has left Salonika and is now in England. She has asked for transport duty so she will likely be home for xmas. That means you take charge of a certain number of wounded going to Canada and are given your passage back. I am such a bad sailor I am afraid I would never ask for transport duty as the poor wounded men will go without care if the weather became rough.
With love to you all,
Most sincerely yours,
Lena A. Davis.