Papa just now is writing to Alick Thomson who is in the thick of it. He is applying for a commission so as to get home for training for a little time. He says then he could go back fresh in the spring. Poor lads! What a life! Stornoway 3rd Dec. 1916

This week’s letter from Mrs Gibson includes some more news of young men serving in the War. Jean is given £1 Christmas spending money, and Mrs Gibson apologises about her letter being so short (at 6 pages), as she has been unwell. The next in our selection of letters from the W.J. Gibson collection held by Museum nan Eilean. If you have any comments please contact us: archives@cne-siar.gov.uk

Dear Jean,

We were surprised not to get your letter yesterday but were sure there was some simple explanation. This morning Papa went down and got it and it was just as we had supposed. That was a delightful evening you described with Marion and the others and we are not surprised that it made you forget about your letter, so, for this one time consider yourself quite excused. I hope your new shoes are comfortable. Have you got yourself a pair of galoshes yet? I note your request about the pig’s jacket and will attend to it soon. I have found your furry hat so they will be able to travel together. So glad your tooth promises to be all right. It is well worth any amount of trouble.

That was hard luck to be called up in maths. on the one occasion you weren’t prepared. Probably he’ll ask you soon again. I see you are turning a charitable eye on Mr. Good Willie. That is right in itself and not only so but it will help you to get as much good as possible from what he teaches. Your Latin marks interest Papa greatly – me too of course but not so intelligently.

I have been wondering if Maud and you are out at Mr. Taylor’s this afternoon. I hope you are.

Has Maud ever been out at the Residence yet? If not Papa and I think you ought to ask Miss Savage if you may bring your friend to tea some day which would suit Maud. I am sure it would be all right.

We enjoyed ‘Alma Mater’ [Aberdeen University Students’ magazine] and agree with you that the verse is very good indeed. “Dan” seems to be quite a character. Papa says the one at Glasgow was too but in quite a different way.

Speaking of Glasgow Mr. Clark is going south this week to a meeting in Edinburgh but largely his reason is to see Bessie. Her aunt is still in Saltcoats and does not think of returning for the winter anyway, so poor Bessie is largely on her own.

Ellis was in last night and stayed to tea with us. She was saying that Bessie sees Jane Thomson every day for a little while. She had been visiting her also at the hostel and enjoyed it very much. They are going to join some “Ceilidh”. Ellis brought in a bowl of potted head and when Papa was having some tonight at tea he was saying you would have enjoyed it.

Papa told you when he wrote that I had been out of my usual a bit. I am now much better but my head still a bit swimming. No doubt that will go away by degrees. Papa has had a hard week especially the first three days of it but has been so delightfully cheery and helpful that I am filled with admiration as well as gratitude. I myself might do the chores and the waiting all right but the cheerfulness is where I would come short. We are just camping in the kitchen to keep down the work. John Munro called on us yesterday and I brought him right in here. He has just finished his three months training and is waiting to be gazetted. He looks very handsome in his new officer’s uniform but not more so than he did as a private.

Papa just now is writing to Alick Thomson who is in the thick of it. He is applying for a commission so as to get home for training for a little time. He says then he could go back fresh in the spring. Poor lads! What a life!

I haven’t seen Mr. Morison for ever so long. Of course I haven’t been out now for a whole week.

We are enclosing £1 in this so that you may have a little pocket money for Christmas. It will not appear in your accounts you understand. It must be nice to see the shops. I haven’t yet opened the blouse parcel but hope to see into things generally this week and it among them. Excuse short letter as my poor head is not yet up either to reading or writing. Much love from us both to lil She-ann.

Your loving Ma.

Ref: 1992.50.64i/L13

Transcribed by Hazel Tocock, Museum Visitor Assistant

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