More bad news comes through from France – Archie Craig wounded and missing, probably killed, and Murdo Montgomery of the School Board Office, Johanna’s brother, his people have had no word from for three weeks, although he was in the habit of writing his home folk regularly… Stornoway, 31st May. 1917

Extract from letter from Mr Gibson to Jean Gibson, 31 May 1917

Mr Gibson has more bad news for Jean this week sadly; two more local men are missing in action and presumed dead. He provides Jean with some general news about school activities, and also talks of the difficulty in getting a house in Stornoway during that time. 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,

The last day of May, and it has been cold and showery and with sunshiny bits between. I got your bank-book and we have put in £20 more. I am posting it back to you registered. You sh.d get it by same post as this letter. The zoology paper I am returning as you will wish to preserve them for the final review for your degree examn. It was not, I agree, a very nice paper, but some of the points were good stock ones. I hope you got on well; we’ll hear when the results come out. When do you have your second oral? Or is it a “spotter” you get next.

The Sixth is busy getting ready for Dr. Rennie and Mr. Lang ( a new Science Inspector we are to have this year). I hope they will do well. Not better, I think, than last year’s Sixth, in spite of the “hours”!      More bad news comes through from France – Archie Craig wounded and missing, probably killed, and Murdo Montgomery of the School Board Office, Johanna’s brother, his people have had no word from for three weeks, although he was in the habit of writing his home folk regularly.

In school we are wrestling along. The little concert was quite successful – about 300 present. We cleared £6”10 with 6d tickets, in addition to the duty of 1d a head, which I am hoping to have remitted.      Mr. and Mrs.  Anderson and the baby have been to Stornoway and Mr. A. has gone back again to Aberdeen, but the others remain. He was in one night and had a long talk quite in the old way. He and Mr. Ewen were of course very busy over the bees while he remained. Acknowledge receipt of your bank-book; also reply to query, now a week old, about bicycle. You don’t seem in writing to adopt the device of having our last letter beside you. I recommend it as a good method.

Mr. C. J. Maciver has had to leave his house – owner coming into it, or something. He has not been able to get another, and they have had to go in temporarily with his mother-in-law. It is very hard lines not to be able to get a house of any kind in Story.

Miss Macphail has written about Miss Angus’s successor. She is a young sister of Miss. Margt. Maclean who used to be here as French Mistress. Seems to have just finished her University course, in which case she is younger than I wd have expected the Committee to choose. – I have finished Dr. Robert MacIver’s book on Sociology and have written a review of it for the “Story Gazette” which will be sent you in due course when it appears. There are a number of good things in the book and the main positions of it seem to be sound. It is not, however, what the man in the street wd call easy reading.

By-the-way, I sent the six school mags. to you yesterday. They shd have reached you before this. Barrie is sitting up still and taking nourishment. I was out last night at bedtime pelting Stripey – or rather attempting to – with stones, Barrie sitting by quite uninterested. Am looking to get next letter on Saturday morning. I prefer them then as there is ampler time to appreciate the news.

Our best love,

Papa.

Ref: 1992.50.64i/L51

Transcribed by Hazel Tocock, Museum Visitor Assistant

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