Neil – Mother: c May 1917

49123, Pte N H Smith
Featherston M.C.

Dear Mother,
I expect it is about time I wrote. I have had the very devil of a cold and cough, got it still.  I have been taking the dope the Doctor ordered but it does not seem to have done much good.  I was committed to the hospital Tuesday afternoon for Epitastis. (Epistaxis) Sounds very awful, but it only means nose-bleeding.  My nose started about 1.30 and continued till 3.0 so the serg-maj sent for a doctor.  He had a look at it and felt my pulse and said one of the hospital Docs would have to plug itif it didn’t stop under hospital treatment.  They fixed me up in bed but forgot to treat me and I was not feeling up to much and dropped asleep.  My nose stopped while I was asleep.  One of the sisters came along and examined it while I was asleep said “Pretty little boy” or something like that and said I could go when I woke up.  So I had eggs and stuff for tea instead of dry rations and rustled off and played billiards as usual that night.  I tried to get someone to punch me in the nose next day in order to get back and see the Sister again.  She is young and pretty and bit of hard case.  I don’t know what her real name is.  Everybody calls her Flossie (behind her back).  Sisters are very mighty people in the NZMS.  They hold rank equal to 1st Lueutenant.  Everything is going on as usual.  There is nothing more to say unless i start discussing some of the other Sisters.

We are going to Wellington tomorrow on leave God and the camp authorities willing.  That little bit of blasphemy reminds me of what is supposed to have appeared in camp orders on Easter Monday.

Camp orders F’thston – Easter Monday casualties – report corrected.
Jesus Christ – Previously reported missing believed died of wounds on Good Friday – now reported rejoined unit.  Plenty of that sort of humor here.

Awapuni camp almost certainly shifting to Narrow Neck.