Now, it was warm today. Temp was up in the 30’s. I was going to go out for a long walk but then realized that I had to do an online training at 1 pm. So never went out. At a meeting at 9 am at Town Hall and then one that went from 4:30 until after 8 pm. We have to do something about these long meetings. But at least this evenings meeting helped me me a resolution to myself about my future.
You will notice that Patts writing changes in these letters. In the days before D-Day they were told to be very careful about what they said so she wrote like “favorite town” meaning London. Sometimes you have to guess what she is talking about and it is pretty obvious they are getting ready for something to happen. Norm Wilson-Smith and Dick Hunter were very good to Patt all the way through her stay. They traveled the same path but they were in headquarters planning attacks and she was in the hospital picking up the pieces. Enjoy…
11 – April 44’ (one side of this airgram is torn so some words are missing)
I got your lovely letter this morning and your other one about a month ago and it certainly is perfect to get them. I do hope you are feeling better. You have had a tough time this winter. Your letters give me a lot of news and are wonderful. I think everyone thinks someone else is giving me all the news so I miss some so tell me everything.
You will be reading all about my trip to Scotland. You would love it all. I can just see you “browsing” around the quaint little shops and enjoying the walks in the country. The roads and lanes are so lovely and there is no traffic to scare you.
London is marvelous. I saw the Parliament buildings, Westminster Abbey the other day. They are very big and impressive. Two of the …on the Parliament buildings are off – a bomb hit them on the whole the buildings, I mean the big ones have not been damaged too badly. The incendiary bombs do all the harm and these leave complete blocks absolutely “grilled” by fire. Maybe some of the frame of a house is left standing, maybe not.
Piccadilly is the heart of downtown London. I think if you stand on a corner of it for one day a million different faces would pass you. All the hotels, restaurants, theatres etc are there. The Americans have everything tied up though. They will pay any price for what they want. So hotels, taxis, bars, cater to them. It’s too bad because American privates get so much more pay than ours do however” c’est la guerre”, that is the answer to everything from a taxis to a dining room. It’s all quite an experience.
I am waiting anxiously now to see what is going to happen. No one knows after Dieppe, it is a good thing too. They say everyone talked about it before anything happened and look what results. The Canadian troops over here feel very strongly about that yet. It certainly left its mark.
This is my second letter. I hope you get the first one. You didn’t say. Give my best to Mrs Green and Arthur and Jack and lots of love to you dear and take care of yourself. Love Patt.
#16 17 April ‘44
It is one a.m. and everything is very quiet. I have just a few very sick pts and the rest are pretty good. I am on “nites” for the next five weeks. Pretty grim but at least we have one nite off a week so it will break it up. I have just one ward with twenty five pts. All the M.O.’s are grand to me. Max Malone comes down every nite for a chat. He is one of the surgeons and very popular with everyone. My finger is still very sore but I would much rather be working, as you know, I never did have any patience with being sick and out of things. We have very good suppers and the nite goes fairly quickly.
I have to be very careful now about what I say in letters because they may be censored. You will have to use your imagination. We cannot go farther than 20 miles from where we are stationed now so that is very hard.
On Fri nite Norm came over on his motor bike and we had dinner at the Queen’s hotel and a perfect evening. He is very clever and very nice. I guess I told you about spending last Wed and Thurs with Dick in my favorite spot in the letter I wrote to Ferg. We had a marvelous time. I have this wed off so we are meeting at the same place between his station and mine.
Everything is lovely here now. You know the old saying” oh to be in England now that April’s here” is very true. I would love to spend every spring in this country. It is beautiful. Mother would simply love it. There are so many odd shrubs and bushes and flowers.
I got Dad’s letter on Sat. You certainly are very good about writing but don’t worry about writing often when you are so busy – as long as mine get to you so you won’t worry in the important thing. Had a letter from Marg and she said the children had the books so I am glad that they got there even though they were bought in a hurry and I have seen a lot nicer since. It must be lovely to have Eileen and Bill. I was thinking Marye and Bill would have a lot to talk over, it is always nice to talk “shop” with someone who knows what you are talking about. Nylon always had me bewildered. I couldn’t figure it all out.
I think of all the children a lot and how sweet they are. Well I’ll write often while I am on nites even though there will not be much to write about. My writing is still bad because my finger is still wrapped up. Love Patt
#17 – 21 April ‘44
It’s the middle of the nite and the planes are going over by the hundreds. The steady drone goes on and on. I am so thrilled about Norah’s daughter. Isn’t it wonderful. Ferg mentioned it so casually in his letter. I nearly popped. Isn’t it marvelous that at last she has one although I was laying my bets on a girl. I must write to her at once. I had a letter from her the same day as Fergs and it said nothing about it.
And my poor dear Frankie was in the hospital! If I had known I could have wired her some flowers. I hope her back is better at last and that she had a good check-up. Tell me all about it and how she is feeling. You know how worried I get.
Tell Ferg. I am buying more really nice books gradually for “de keeds” I sent only the older ones the books last time and they weren’t too wonderful. Did “Fergie Joe” like his?
Well I can’t tell you much because I don’t know much but I think we are on the move soon. We are evacuating this hosp by degrees and I am seeing my tailor about my glamour suit. But I will tell you where and when if I can later. Right now your guess is as good as mine.
Had last nite off and what a wonderful time I had. Norm and Dick came to get me and the three of us went up to our favorite town. Saw a musical comedy which I loved, very gay and silly. Then had a rather good dinner at a club they belong to, then went from one spot to another. They spend small fortunes every nite we go out but it’s only once a week now that I’m on nites. They are grand people. I told you they are staff men and really in the know, not that it does me any good- they just laugh when I ask even the simplest of questions. They are very clever and all “staff” are hand-picked. Bill would get along famously with them. They remind me of him quite a bit. However they are wonderful to me and after long nites working it’s a lift and a big one to see them. We stayed over nite and today they picked me up at noon and we went out to lunch and then about 3 pm we caught the train back to here and to nite I had a long talk with two of my pts just back from Italy. Terrible injured but absolutely uncomplaining. They told me so much about out there and the fighting etc. said they could not believe they were out of it or that any other world existed. Pretty grim!
Well, my pets have fun – I think the cottage sounds very nice. You should all enjoy it this summer. I’m glad Uncle Jim is better and I do so hope that Mother is. Love and kisses, Patt