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Tuesday, 23 February 2016

31 British Stationary Hospital
Mesopotamia Exp Force

15 Dec 1916

My Dear Mother

Just received all your letters.  Yours, father’s and May’s.  Glad to hear you are all so well.
You asked me about giving up the farm, it is very difficult for me to decide.  The question to ask yourselves is, would you be more comfortable in a smaller home & also a small income, with father nothing to do, probably living in a place where you may not know many people.  All supplies such as milk, eggs, butter are at high price owing to the war, house rent also going up, also increased taxation.  You are comfortable at Barmbro’, but father I suppose is sick to death of labour troubles.  It isn’t a question of making money, but just to keep life at home together.  With the farm & your personal income & all it’s comforts.  Those are the things to weigh over in your mind – a sort of choice of two evils. 

The unsettled state of the country is not the time to make change, especially as you have nothing in reserve – farming with high price of produce, as fodder, potatoes, wheat against high wages.  My other words, trade & farming should be better now.  I think that government will see that farmers are looked after, and encouraged to grow profitable produce.  Their rents will not be raised but may be lowered.

If you could get Percy to give you some idea of whether a house large enough for you near Hutton – or near Doncaster or Rotherham.  Look round & have something definite in view then to give it up would be alright.

The idea of me coming home is more or less out of the question.  I shall say for one or two years from now unless I happen to get sick or sent to England for a change.  Even if peace were declared soon, the sending of troops back to England to hospitals, would take at least six months.  I don’t think I have any more to say that will help you.

I am getting very comfortable now in my new hospital – have a sprung bed, mattress, sheets, feather pillows and many other comforts!!!  The battle has just begun & I hear my old ambulance is on the move.  One here can hear the guns in the distance.  I expect to get lots of wounds into my hospital!!  At any time, 20 will be full for the next 10 days or so.  My young officers, (10 in number!!), one aged 46 and another aged 43, are doing good work, under my supervision ..!!

Will drop a note next week.  Wishing you all the best of luck.

Harry

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