Norman – Mum: 12 Oct 1917

Cambridge Hospital
12th Oct 1917
Dear Mum
I received your letter dated July 29th on Oct 2nd, one from Gorrie dated July 22nd and one from Dad dated Aug 5th all on the same date.  I am awfully sorry that you were misinformed about Vic and got no answer to your wire to us owing to it not being delivered for over five weeks.  You must have had a very worrying time waiting for news, but the postal authorities at Sling are responsible for the cable missing us.

Many thanks for the cake and butter.  We have not received them yet, but I dare say they will arrive in good time.

As you will see from the above address, we are now posted at the “Cambridge” Military Hospital, Aldershot, where we have been since Oct 3rd.  I understand we are to remain here for a months training in hospital work and then go back to our camp at Eweshot before proceeding oversea.  Neil is orderly in the operating theatre, handing the doctor his instruments and looking after dressings and all that sort of thing.  I am ward orderly – not quite such a good job as Neil’s but not so bad on the whole.  I have just received a letter this morning from Miss Green.  It was dated June 5th and arrived at Sling on Aug 29th but like the cablegram it was returned to N.Z. Records marked “No card Sling Aug 29th”.  There was less excuse for that blunder as the envelope was addressed with N.Z.M.C.   as well as my number.  I am sending enclosed the envelope and cable form as it was delivered to us on Oct 3rd so that you will be able to see for yourself who was responsible for the bungle.  We had a letter from Vic yesterday.  He has had a holiday and seems to be having a grand time all through and does not expect to go oversea for a long time yet.  Neil and I are still fit and well and having a very good time on our off hours.  The weather has been fairly raw for the past week, but we are in permanent brick barracks and are well supplied with coal, so the weather does not trouble us much except at 6 a.m. when we find it rather unpleasant.  All things considered we have not much to complain about.  We have just missed another draft for France and if we stay here a full month we may possibly miss a few more.  Tell Clyde that I got his letter alright and have sent a reply along with the letter I posted to Dad a week ago.  We have got the theatres here in Aldershot and as we finish every other night at 5 o’clock it is very easy for us to run in and see the first performance which starts at 6 p.m. and finishes at 8.  The canteens and institutes are very good and we get sausages, peas and potatoes along with a cup of coffee for 7 pence.  We have supper nearly every night and our meals during the day are pretty fair so we are not by any means wasting away through lack of eatables.  There is only one thing that troubles me and that is the shortage of sugar.  All the sweet smiles of the canteen girls fail to affect our coffee and we have to put up with it as it is.  The allowance of sugar is very small and I am very fond of it as you are no doubt aware.

There is no more news so good bye just now with kind regards to all