Since Alick and Papa went out a boy has come in, a son of Macleod, Lochcroisten, who has only now managed in to school. He got as far as Achmore and has had to stay there from the day you got started south. Coming in today he followed the telegraph poles as no one could tell where the road was and he got his chin frost-bitten… Papa advised him to stay indoors till Monday to keep it from the cold… Stornoway, 17th January. 1918

Extract from letter from Mrs Gibson to Jean Gibson 17th January 1918

In this week’s letter, Mrs Gibson has an update on the freezing weather the island is still suffering from. The weather was so cold that it caused one poor lad’s chin to get frost bitten on his way to school. She also updates Jean on two local lads who are serving in the war, one of whom has become a lieutenant. 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,

Glad to get your letter this morning.  I see from it that you are getting share of the snow and the cold weather.  It is just the same here.  Rudland comes every morning to clear a way out for Papa and nearly every day the school has a double session, every day indeed except today when the Secy. came in the afternoon.  The attendance has been so low that it was cancelled several days, and in some of the rooms the therm. did not rise above freezing point.  In the house the pipes are frozen.  I do hope they won’t burst when the thaw comes.

Papa’s cold is still bad.  He coughs a good deal which isn’t a usual thing with him.  I kept him in bed all day on Sunday with was a bitterly cold day.  In the evening sitting by the bed-room fire I could not get warm no matter what I put on.

It seems that Angus Maclean came to call on Sunday evening and seeing the house dark at the front thought there was no one at home.  We were sorry we missed him.  This evening we have had Alick Matheson here to tea, from Salonika.  He seems a very nice boy.  He says Macewan has got his full lieutenancy now and is on the head quarters staff at brigade head quarters and Alick says is very well thought of by his colonel.

Since Alick and Papa went out a boy has come in, a son of Macleod, Lochcroisten, who has only now managed in to school.  He got as far as Achmore and has had to stay there from the day you got started south.  Coming in today he followed the telegraph poles as no one could tell where the road was and he got his chin frost-bitten.  Rubbing it with snow to bring it to life again he has been so vigorous that he has it all skinned and it looks very bad and angry.  Papa advised him to stay indoors till Monday to keep it from the cold.

We were very sorry that Mrs. Milne was still so unwell and now Mr. M. ill also.  Poor Maud will have a hard time.

I was amused at you going to bed in your dressing gown.  Better that than to be cold however.  Hope your ear isn’t troubling you.  Surely we will have some warmer weather soon to give us all a better chance to get rid of our coughs and aches.

We have had no milk for five days and no prospect of any.  Our Barrie misses his ‘’lil drop’.  He does not like the condensed and the ideal is all done.

I see the tank is going to Aberdeen.  Sorry we cannot send you something to invest so as to swell Aberdeen’s total.  You see what a poor profession it is!

Have you a curly little moon in Aberdeen just now and lots of stars big and little twinkling and gleaming from a deep blue sky o’ nights?  We have.

Lots of love to She-ann from her patients

Ref: 1992.50.64ii/L23

Transcribed by Dawn MacDonald, Museum Visitor Assistant

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