‘The Ross Battery in Macedonia is in action about three times a fortnight. Capt. Smith, Daisy’s husband, is at present in command.’ Stornoway, 26 Oct. 1916

Letter from Mr Gibson to Jean Gibson. The next in our series of letters from the W.J. Gibson collection held by Museum nan Eilean. Please get in touch if you have any comments: archives@cne-siar.gov.uk.

Jean Dear,

Here we are, Mamma and I and the pussocks, “all our lone”, for it is Thursday evening and Margaret has gone out. I have been at the boys’ drill and am now home again. We are getting in our peats – the carting is rather erratic – and Maggie and Mrs. Murray, who cleans the school, are building a beautiful stack at the back door.

Last night we launched our School Literary and Debating Society. We had a programme of a scratch kind for the opening evening. I gave a half-hour’s talk on “The Art of Speaking” giving them what hints I could, and we had some music. There was a bumper turnout – between 80 and 100 which promises well for the enthusiasm of the new session.

We are to have a dramatic section under Miss Angus’s guidance; there will also be an open Scientific Night, a Musical Night, and an Art Night, various literary evenings with short papers, various debates, and some odd evenings – but of these more anon, when we have our programme arranged.

You seem to have had a pretty busy time since you left us. Hope the dentist visit to-day was not un-happy. Will you have to go several times? I suppose so. Your eyes will be the next thing to see about. Your Latin programme looks very systematic. The weekly test is a good feature. Your 63 per cent is not so bad for a Univy examn though it is true that it is not so good as 84. But you’ll score better when you get into your stride. How do you do about Seneca and Livy? Have you to read those up for yourself? Did you get a copy of the little pamphlet with the Degree prescription of tests?

I am sorry to hear of the rumour that Prof. Macdonald is to be away. I hope it is not correct. If so, from what I hear things will be very unsatisfactory, as I understand Mr. Goodwillie is no disciplinarian. I would be very sorry to have your session in Mathems not give you as much help as possible, as it is a subject that I am anxious you should get a good working grip of, as far as your work in it goes.

We are glad to hear of your intention to play hockey. I have no doubt that by the use of a little diplomacy you will get the use of the pitch. Even if the men have a self-denying ordinance that is no reason why the women should not keep themselves fit.

So the Principal is in France. Poor man, he must have some sad thoughts there. Glad you like the College chapel. It will be nice and near for the Sunday mornings. We noted your approval of the flat. It was nice that Christina Macdonald was there. You have not mentioned how your hours are yet. Are there any tutorials in connection with the Latin or Mathems. You’ll be able soon when you get settled down to give us your time-table arrangement.

About the 2/-, it is all right; the florin for the tip to the stewardess came out of your silver before I handed it over to you. That is probably the missing figure which will balance your accounts. You’ve made a good start when you have got them right. What is the arrangement about paying the boarding account? Is it weekly, fortnightly or monthly? Don’t let yourself get short of money. Lift from the post-office at least a week before you need money at any time as the warrant may take nearly a week to reach you.

Last week I wrote and posted my letter on Thursday evening. But if this does not reach you by Saturday morning perhaps I wd be better for me to write on Wednesday evening.

Mamma is busy sewing a bed-jacket of grey flannel for the soldiers – or at least for a soldier. Her scarf is finished. Mamma told you about Miss Mair going to go to Australia. It is quite a big venture. She does not think that Victoria will care to go until she gets her B.Sc. work finished. The Ross Battery in Macedonia is in action about three times a fortnight. Capt. Smith, Daisy’s husband, is at present in command.

I am sorry to hear that the poor Medicals are worked so hard. We are sorry for your friend Miss Bruce. We have no fresh news of Bessie, and none so far of Katie. Mamma asks if you have got a new hat yet. With which important question I must close.

With our love, Papa

Transcribed by Dawn Macdonald, Archive collections assistant

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