Mar 9th. 1917.
Dear Miss Shand –
I wonder if you are back in Toronto once more. I do hope your trip has done you a world of good and that you are feeling your self once more. My sister spoke of having been down to see you when your bed was in the sitting room. I wish I had been in Toronto to run in and visit you during the day and break the monotany of staying in bed. It is poor fun is it not?
Our march weather is all that has been promised us. Two mornings this month we have gotten up to find the ground covered with snow, which of course is gone in twenty four hours, but in going of course makes a dreadful slush. This is my afternoon and I have just come in from Folkestone after having had a shampoo and electrecal massage for my scalp. I was glad to get in out of the raw cold wind and cold slush. The ocean is roaring at a great rate.
So you almost inlisted did you? I am afraid I can give you very little advice about the position as none of the hospitals I have been in over here have a similar position. I don’t see though any reason why it should not be a very pleasant position and one which surely needs a trained head. Of course there is this about it. It would not be permanent.
You probably know by now through Mrs. Baillie that she and the major have been moved to Bramshot. They went a week ago to-day. I am so sorry they are gone. Last Wednesday afternoon I intended having a little farewell visit with Mrs. Baillie down town in a tea room but about 11 a.m. began to feel my dreaded chill coming on so of course went to bed instead with hot water bottles and all available steamer rugs.
Major Mac Kenzie, the sisters doctor here, is going to try some new treatment for Malaria he has heard about. It is given intra veinously. I hope it may prove the needed charm.
Ask Miss West if she remembers Miss Charleton? She is a Western hospital graduate and is here now. She has become engaged since coming overseas and I don’t think she is going to wait until the war is over to be married.
Tell Mrs. Clare that Miss Jean Johnson and Miss Dickinson are keeping up the good name of the London Victoria hospital as both have received the Royal Red Cross. Of course Miss Dickinson has not yet been decorated as she is too far from England and will have to wait until she returns from the east for the ceremony. Miss Johnson received orders last week to preceed to Buckingham Palace to received her decoration from the King. I was partly concerned in the honor as she had not a clean cap so I lent her one. So my cap has been before the King even if I have not.
I am enclosing a little clipping which shows in what a dangerous position we were in at Margate. One of the sisters who is staying at Kingscliff, the Red Cross Home, spent a day with us this week, and she said the first shell struck a house along the same street and about three hundred yards from them. I remember the house very well. It was a girls school, but fortunately empty. It seems to me the Germans do such stupid things. They did absolutely no damage of military importance. The poor mother was killed with the baby in her arms. I suppose some German will receive military honors for that.
I have been watching with interest the developments with the States. I wonder what they really intend doing?
I have seen several boys from my own home while I have been in Moore Barracks. My cousin is now a patient in the next ward to my own. His home is in Grimsby and his grandmother was that wonderful old Aunt of mine of whom you have heard me speak. He is just a young boy only nineteen. We have had a little frivolity here this winter in the way of dances. We (the sisters) had a very nice St Valentines dance and every guest was in uniform. Last week, the officers of Pass Barracks invited the nursing sisters from the three Canadian hospitals in the vicinity to a dance. There were also some of the wives and daughters of the officers present. Otherwise all were in uniform and all were Canadians.
I get so down right homesick some times I get a deep navy blue. I have been more homesick and lonely right here in England that I was all the months down east. No more Canadians are being sent down east, the British gradually taking their places.
I had such a nice letter from Miss Adshead.
Love to Mrs Clare, Miss Mac and Miss Coombs.
Lena A. Davis.