Norman – Mother: 8 Jun 1918

Ward 16
No 1 New Zealand General Hospital
Brockenhurst, Hants
8th June 1918
Dear Mother,
I have just received two letters from you, one from Gorrie and one from George MacPherson. Your two were dated 24th and 31st March, Gorries 24th March and Georges 24th March. I suppose you have been imagining that I am over in France in the heavy fighting that has been going on while all the time I have been enjoying a lovely rest in the hospital. From the accounts you give of gales and fires it seems to me that you have been having a rougher time of it than I had. I am writing this seated on top of a blanket on the lawn and I am dressed in pyjamas and dressing gown enjoying a sun bath. This is the first time I have received the doctors permission to be up since arriving in Blighty. But have I been all the time in bed. Mum’s the word. The doctor told me this morning that I would be getting leave probably in a fortnight. This just suits me splendidly as Neil is getting leave about the same time and we are off to Scotland together. After we come back we have to go through a graduated course of training at Eweshott so it will be quite a long time before we see France again.

I have not seen Neil for nearly six months now and its splendid for us to get leave together and be together again afterwards. I hope we are sent to Eweshott together as we get plenty of leave from there and can have a good time rowing on the canal with some of the nice English girls that live around Eweshott.

We ought to have plenty of money for our holiday as Neil has the £20 he cabled for and I have to date £13-6-8 to my credit in my pay book. We get 14 days leave and even if we are extravagant enough to spend 1 per day we shall still have plenty as my book will show about £15 then. They pay us right up to the end of our holiday time. You mentioned in your letter about sending the following articles: two tins biscuits, two tins sugar, one tin of chocolates one tin butter. I have underlined the articles that I have received. I have not yet received the cake mentioned in your January letter nor any since, but as parcels often taken a very long time to arrive, it may turn up alright yet. One boat carrying a parcel mail was sunk but that cake will arrive soon I think. I have been very lucky with my parcels so far as I seem to have received every other parcel that you have sent. The tin of butter has hardly had time to arrive yet.

Neil has been having a good time at Torquay so he tells me, getting leave every night and plenty of amusements. Plenty of nice girls too I expect.

The weather here has been lovely and warm ever since I came over. Bighty in June is not at all a bad place to be in. Trench Fever is, according to the doctors, caused by lice. It was not strange that I caught it for I was simply swarming with the pests. I looked on them as pests then but I have since come to regard them as a blessing. although I had a comparatively good time over in France I was never nearer than four miles from the front line and was not overworked. No more news just now. I hope I may be home to eat those apples you bottled as fruit is rather scarce here. Keep on writing. Letters are always welcome.


I am afraid that you are over doing the parcel business. Are you sure that you can afford to keep spending as you are doing. As I told you before I don’t want you to run short and I would far rather that you used more of the allotment money than that you should run short of anything.

Things have gone up since we left and I would rather that you took more than the 1/- per day. Don’t hesitate if you want it.