On Tuesday evening John Macdonald (1914), Ness, the lad who won the Military Medal in the R.G.A., came in to see us. He is on leave, but owing to the snow had been unable to start for Ness. We had a long and interesting talk with him on life at the front… Stornoway, 10th January. 1918

Extract from letter from Mr Gibson to Jean Gibson 10th January 1918

This week, Mr Gibson is glad to hear of Jean’s safe return to the mainland after her stay in Stornoway for Christmas. The Gibson’s had a visit this week from a Ness lad on leave who had been serving on the front and had won a military medal in the Royal Garrison Artillery. Mr Gibson also notes that the weather on Lewis has been very cold, causing burst pipes and flooding at the Nicolson. 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,

We were glad to get your telegrams, and to learn from your letter recd this morning how well things had turned out on your journey.  It was nice that you had time to go up and see Isa before you left Inverness.  You wd lose only one day of your classes.

Anna and the other girls only set out to-night and judging by the sound of the wind are not likely to have a very comfortable trip.  Anna was in yesterday evening.  On Tuesday evening John Macdonald (1914), Ness, the lad who won the Military Medal in the R.G.A., came in to see us.  He is on leave, but owing to the snow had been unable to start for Ness.  We had a long and interesting talk with him on life at the front.  The snow has been very bad in Lewis.  Some of the country pupils have not yet got in, and from most of the villages no mail could get through.

Miss MacColl’s steamer was turned back by the Admiralty to Tobermory, but she reached Kyle to-day and expects to get across by the mail-boat to-night.

On Sunday night in going down with you I lost a rubber you will remember.  When we got home again Mamma found herself minus one of hers.  It wd have been more convenient if one of us had lost a pair.

Mr Rudland in digging a way through the wreath at the gate found mine, and this afternoon Mamma’s turned up when a big wreath in front of the Francis St. School had melted.  The wreaths in some parts of the playground were as high as the walls.

Owing to the frost many water pipes burst, including one in the old laboratory which flooded the school kitchen.  There was also flooding in the Springfield Building and the melted snow was sending down water into various classrooms in the iron school.  Altogether a very uncomfortable four days we have had.

We have put £20 into your P.O. book and I am enclosing it.  Acknowledge receipt.

Mamma went to the butcher’s this afternoon “but when she got there the cupboard was bare,” and he had been shut the two previous days also.

Yesterday Barrie was not feeling himself and there was no meat for him, se he had to get an egg.  To-day he had a little piece of “bully beef” and seemed much perked up thereby.

Any results of your exams yet?  We are curious to hear how you got on.

Has Annie Anderson turned up yet?  The Pentland [Firth] is an even worse terror than the Minch.

With best love from both,

Papa

Ref: 1992.50.64ii/L22

Transcribed by Dawn MacDonald, Museum Visitor Assistant

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