Dec 20th .
To “The Dear Family at Queen St –
The parcel you entrusted to the care of Santa Claus reached me in good condition last night. It was awfully good of you all to think of me and I only wish I could thank you in person. I am using the new paper which is awfully nice. I also found a dear little needle book filled with all sorts of use ful sizes, also a dainty box containing “the necessities of life” and two very nice handkerchiefs. Many, many thanks for the gifts.
As you see I am in my new home. I went up to London for my second medical board on Dec 5th. We expected to go right out of London that afternoon to our new home but were plessantly surprised by being permitted to remain one more day in London to which of course we did not object. Two more no 4 Sisters and myself were sent down here to Moore Barracks. When we arrived we found four more making seven altogether so it did not seem so strange after all. Miss Clarke we found here but she sailed for Canada a few days ago on transport duty. I believe if they make good time she will be home in time for christmas. You will probably see her while she is home. On this transport duty you work going over and of course have nothing to do coming back. As I am such a very poor sailor I think it hardly honest to put in for it. Except of course I could go in July or August. I think I would be alright then.
Tell Miss Coombs I saw Capt Sparks in London. He had been back in England just about a week then. He came up by rail through France, coming on a transport over from Salonika to Marsailles. His boat sailed out of Salonika harbor by the side of the hospital ship Braemar Castle which was torpedoed such a few hours after sailing. There were five Canadian sisters on board being invalided from Salonika. One of them I knew very well. But none of them were lost. What a terrible experience though for a sick person to endure. I never had one fear in coming up yet it might just as easily happened to our ship. A few days after arriving here we were surprised to see in the orders that Captain S. was attached to Moore Barracks as chaplain although he does not come until after christmas so it is getting more like Salonika every day. I had put in one honest weeks work when my old friend Malaria just came back to remind me not to be too “cocky” yet. However it was just a mere touch and I was in bed only three days but Oh it leaves me like a rag. I wonder if it is ever going to get through with me. The other girls have had no return attack what ever, but as mine was the malignant I expect that is the reason it keeps coming back. However one comfort is that I feel fine between attacks.
I am on a surgical ward and manage to keep just comfortably busy. We have two hours off duty with a half day a week and five hours on Sunday. The Sisters quarters are very comfortable, two in a room with a fire place in each. We do not need to furnish our quarter as we did down east. no packing boxes for dressers here and a good solid floor under your feet, but really I would not have missed my experience down in Salonika for worlds. I was really fond of my little corner in the tent I had last Winter. I can imagine now why ranchers become so attached to their old shacks. We are right on the sea here and only a ten minutes bus ride from Folkstone which is quite a good sized town. If Mrs Baillie is still at Hythe I must be near her too, but it is useless to try and go any where here unless you have a half day as it begins to get dark about three oclock and I have had only one half day on which I had to go in to town. I must drop her a note to see if she is still there. Tell Mrs Clare that Miss Jean Johnston is here. She said she was sorry she did not manage to get to see Mrs Clare when in Canada but I expect the time went like the wind. Capt Neely of London is here and I expect I shall find others I know when I get better acquainted.
All our patients here are Canadian – The first I have nursed since coming over. All my other patients have been old country boys.
I suppose by now the christmas excitement at your house will be pretty near over. The third war christmas. I hope there may not be an other. I see the Kaiser has really proposed Peace Terms so perhaps this may be the beginning of the end.
Emma said in her last letter you had not been feeling very well. Take care of yourself and don’t work too hard.
With many thanks again and with much love to you all,
Most sincerely yours,
Lena A. Davis.