This horrible state of Ireland is very disquieting. I do wish Uncle Alick and his family were not of it. Mr. Jas. Anderson was at Perth on leave and suddenly recalled to Cambridge as he thought because of affairs in Ireland. The newspapers don’t say much about it and I suppose that is as well… Stornoway, 18th November. 1917

Extract from letter from Mrs Gibson to Jean Gibson 18th November 1917

In her letter to Jean this week, Mrs Gibson mentions the numerous social events she has engaged in throughout the week, as well as references to local men who have not had to return to the war, and an interesting mention of the problems in Ireland at 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

Dear She-ann,

Do you notice by the date that this is Papa’s birthday. I celebrated it by letting him have some pudding for dinner – quite an unusual luxury I can assure you. The milk supply has got very low; I get only a pint most days. However they try to make up for the smallness of the quantity by the bigness of the price! 

You see that Papa and I have transposed our days of writing. I don’t care for writing letters on Sundays after the chores. Last Sunday we were at church twice. We went at night to hear Jack Anderson preach. Poor Mr. Jenkins had had an attack of neuritis in his arm and although some better wasn’t equal to two preachings so Jack came to the rescue. It was good of him as he must have found it an ordeal where he was so well known. He was nervous at first but did very well indeed and I hear nothing but praise of him and, from the women, great admiration of his good looks. He had been in at the school on Friday afternoon and Papa brought him home to tea. As Miss Maclean, Miss McColl and Miss Nicolson were expected I had lots of nice things including new laid eggs. Jack quite enjoyed the tea and the company I think. He was staying at the Cottage.

When Papa went to school on Monday he was surprised to find Mr. Tait. Wasn’t that good? Mrs. Menzies was leaving that day so he put Miss Maclean on to her work which was wonderfully convenient. Last night the appeal tribunal re-heard the case for Colin John and Mr. Ewen and they are not now to go. Mr. Ewen is crossing the Minch tonight to bring Mrs. Ewen and the boys back on Saturday.

I was at the sewing meeting yesterday and Mrs. Morison was there for the first time since the new regime began. I got her to go with me to the B.W.T.A. social in the evening. She is well and cheerful.

On Monday night we were down by invitation at the manse and did not get home till after 12. We had white pudding with leeks in it for supper and I had a very bad stomach for the next two days. Mrs.Menzies and Miss Dean go south on Sunday night and Miss D. does not return. We are sorry as we liked her very much, but it will be good to have Mr. Menzies back. Both Mrs. M. and Miss D. have worked very hard all the time he has been away; they are bricks!

We were pleased that your first comp. had been appreciated. It will be an encouragement to you. I expect you will get great pleasure from the English class. Whether you manage a high place or not be sure you get the marrow out of it.

Papa has had to put Barrie out as I cannot get writing for him coming up on my knee.

I had an enquiry from the Glasgow Tramway Co. about Mary. She is applying for a post as conductress. She will make a very good one I am sure. Have you ever written again to Maggie?

The painters have not come yet. I will have to go and look them up soon before the days get too short. I require the lamp every morning already.

You will be glad to hear that Mr. Donald Maclean is not going to the front as we were hearing but is going to get his Cadet training at Oxford. We had a p.c. from him this morning (with kind regards to you) telling us of this change of plan. Mrs. Macleod is with Maggie in Edinburgh now.      

This horrible state of Ireland is very disquieting. I do wish Uncle Alick and his family were not of it. Mr. Jas. Anderson was at Perth on leave and suddenly recalled to Cambridge as he thought because of affairs in Ireland. The newspapers don’t say much about it and I suppose that is as well.

The weather here is still as bad. No one ever saw anything like it. How is it with you in Aberdeen. Give our love to Maud and say we are sorry about the hard work. Love from us both to She-ann.

Your loving Ma.

Ref: 1992.50.64ii/L9

Transcribed by Margaret Smith, Museum Visitor Assistant

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