We had a visit last night from Miss Bell Ann Morison’s brother from the front. He was badly gassed and has been in hospital for a long time. His eyes are funny yet and he expects to be sent to a camp in Ireland… Stornoway, 22nd November. 1917

Extract from letter from Mrs Gibson to Jean Gibson 22nd November 1917

In Mrs Gibson’s letter to Jean this week, we hear news regarding a local lad who was badly gassed on the Front. Mrs Gibson also gives Jean an update on the painters, the weather and a recent, popular lecture on the writer George Borrow that Mr Gibson chaired. 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 Sheann,

If the writing is worse even than usual put it down to Barrie who insists on getting into my lap and then giving himself a great doing up, and me writing on my knee too.   He has no sense.

We got your Sunday letter on Tuesday morning as usual and note how very busy you are.  We were glad Maud was better when you saw her on Saturday.  I haven’t seen her mother lately.

The weather here is rainy and scotch misty and dank.  I never remember such continuous rain.  Every thing is sopping.

Last night Sherrif Dunbar gave a lecture on George Borrow in our church hall in aid of the library funds.  Papa was in the chair, in his official capacity as chairman of the library Comtee.  There were about 100 people present which was a lot for Sy; and the lecture was good.  I must try to read Borrow which up till now I haven’t.  I don’t think Mr. & Mrs. Clark were there.  Last Sunday we had a little stroll after church with Mr. C.  He was telling us that Bessie is working in the post-office from 2 till 6 each day.  She begins at £1 a week and rises to 25/.  It is for the special, busy season between now and Christmas.  Bessie was finished with her classes at 12 each day and I think felt she hadn’t enough to do.  After the New Year she is to try to get some tutorial arrangement for her Zoo, and Chemistry.

The painters have never been to the dining room yet.  I met the master one day and he said they were all in Tarbert, Harris.  I am now waiting for them with what patience I can muster.

I have now put Barrie down and he is trying all sorts of out-flanking movements in order to get up again.  He is cute.

Papa had a letter this morning from Mary Burns – nothing interesting in it.

We caught a mouse this morning in the corner press by the fire, top shelf.  I heard the little nipper go off after I came down stairs and then for a bit there was a scuffling and then silence.  Think of my feelings!  Barrie was much pleased.  In the wash house it is a case of “cherchez le rat” but although the Giant nipper is temptingly baited with bacon-rind and cheese (hope Rhondda won’t hear that) le rat willn’t. The potatoes have attracted him and he seems to prefer them “with missing.”

We had a visit last night from Miss Bell Ann Morison’s brother from the front.  He was badly gassed and has been in hospital for a long time.  His eyes are funny yet and he expects to be sent to a camp in Ireland.   Men not quite fit for France might do all right for a sudden scrap with Sein Feinn [sic.].  However we hope they won’t be needed for that.

Mrs. D. would be very proud of her nephew getting the M. C.  What was it for?

We are wondering when you are going to see Mr. Taylor.  You must not neglect such a very old friend as he is, and perhaps you may manage a Sunday afternoon before Christmas.

Miss Eva Macleod that was is in Leeds still although her husband is here.  We are all afraid that the husband is “a wrong un” and wish Eva hadn’t married him.  People say she has been left there to help his mother to keep a shop he had bought.  Any-way it is a very queer arrangement.

I think I have now posted you up in the Sy. news and here is Papa home for his tea and it not ready.  Love from us both to Sheann.   Your loving Ma.

Ref: 1992.50.64ii/L13

Transcribed by Vivienne Parish, Museum Visitor Assistant

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