9th August 1915

At Hebburn. Today girlie you will recommence work and this morning I thought of you going along the old route. I wonder how you viewed the situation – were you glad to return to work since home had so many memories in its precincts and there was so much time to dwell on the days gone by, or on the other hand perhaps you did not feel like returning to the dull old life down in the “shop”. You could not be blamed for being in a mood of indecision, it is only natural when one is undergoing such a tumultuous time inwardly. I was thinking of you at 12-45 p.m. when you should be leaving work. It was rather a coincidence that happened at this time, for just when I was so busy with thoughts of you, a letter from you came to hand. If you could only have seen from your position in Treville St. the pleasure with which I recognised the handwriting on the envelope and knew that it was from the girlie of whom I was thinking. I’m afraid I took my thoughts off you during your progress homewards, for your letter gave me all attention. This was the letter you promised to write on Saturday and I observe by the postmark that you wrote it on the morning of that day. I thank you for your kindness and I wish you could fully comprehend how much good such a letter does a fellow in the position I am at the present time. You tell me very little about the impressions you had before and after my departure. You say nothing about the most unhappy time you must have had – the worst time as yet I think. I wish you had told me your real feelings, and I know that you did not because you knew how bad I should be feeling and you thought not to add to my misery. Altho’ you have not told me all you have suffered, I can guess how your feelings were, since my own puts me in a position to judge. I admire your unselfish methods dear but I would rather know the truth.

I thought of you going back again at 1-45 p.m. and returning home at 6 p.m. I expect we both thought during the day of our fine holiday on the previous Monday, when we went to Yelverton, Burrator and Sheepstor. I wrote to you this evening and just before 9 p.m. I mentioned in the letter that on Monday last at that time we were just settling ourselves in the “Palace”.

This morning we were pretty busy, but I was thinking of last Monday all the same. I was taking some blood from a patient’s ear to send to the Medical College at Greenwich for testing purposes, when I thought of where we were at the same time last Monday and my position caused me to remark to one of my mates “It’s a good job that I didn’t know last Monday what I should be doing today, else I’m afraid my holiday would have been spoilt”. My mate passed a similar remark to his position then and now. What a severe contrast it all is dear, and how much happens in such a short space of time in our career. It is wonderful.

Together with your letter came one from Aunt Nina, so hers and mine crossed in the post. One sentence refers to you in this way:- “I am very delighted at having sneaked away a little of your company, altho’ I was sorry to be the cause of parting you from Mabel for a few of those precious hours which I know passed all too quickly”. I thought the old girl would be proud over having netted me for the half day on Wednesday, in fact I told her in my letter on Sunday that I expected she would be. I don’t think she would have had me though if it hadn’t been for George. She won’t have me again for a long time I’m afraid.

Zeps. have been reported making in this direction and as the electric lights may be  switched out at any time we have been ordered to light the emergency candle lamps. Zeps. have not been this way for a long time Рperhaps the Germans have heard about the 20-odd aviators waiting here for them.

Well dear it is midnight and one of my mates has just come on board, so I think it is time to retire. I have remarked that it was about this time or perhaps later when I retired last Monday (Tuesday?). I hope you did not find work too hard to get on with today. Poor old Mabs.

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