Mr. Stevens and his companions of the Antarctic have got special Polar Medals granted by the King. He is on instructional work in the S. of England, the last I heard. Lt. John Munro was in seeing us on Thursday evening on his way back from leave. He had been ill with trench fever and bronchitis… Stornoway, 18th February. 1918

Extract from letter from Mr Gibson to Jean Gibson 18th February 1918

Mr Gibson’s big news for Jean this week is that Lord Leverhulme has bought the island. He also includes an interesting reference to Polar medals granted to his friend Mr Stevens and fellow Antarctic explorers. 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,

I was much disappointed in not getting your letter written last night.  Just as I was starting to it, the Ex-Provost came in, and as he didn’t go until about 10.30, it cd. not be done.  We got your card on Saturday and your letter on Sunday morning.  So the Histology turned out badly!  Well, we’ll hope that the other parts of the exam’n. will make up for it.

About the Nat. Phil., I hope there will be no difficulty about your class ticket.  But I suppose not; I expect the requisite percentage is not very high.  You’ll probably be able to make a better mark in your next exam’n. in any case.

I am interested to hear about the Fishery lectures.  Tell me more.  I w’d., in fact, be glad to hear a bit more in detail about all your classes.  I have a little notion of what Prof. Jack is doing, but nothing of what is going on in the Zoo. or Nat. Phil. class.  You need be in no difficulty about getting news to put into your letter, as we’ll always be glad to get particulars of the week’s ground covered.

Mamma has just been out foraging, and has returned with potatoes and loaves.  So the staples of life are still being supplied.  To-day in school I was distributing rationing application forms to pupils in lodgings.  They have to apply for individual cards, and not to be put on the landlady’s household form.  Is that how it is to be with you?  At holiday time they will get an emergency card to enable them to get supplies when at home. This refers to butter, margarine, and tea. Mamma is just now reading “34 ways of cooking potatoes,” issued by the Food Control folk.

Her recreative reading just now is Morley’s “Life of Gladstone,” two volumes with a thousand pages in each – something like a read!  Nothing of the “seven-penny” about that!  I have been busy this week-end correcting English and Geography papers.  The L.C. exam’s. come early this year, beginning a month hence.

Leverhulme has bought the Island – not for trade purposes but for a place to enjoy his old age in.  See enclosed cutting from “Herald.”

Mr. Stevens and his companions of the Antarctic have got special Polar Medals granted by the King.  He is on instructional work in the S. of England, the last I heard.  Lt. John Munro was in seeing us on Thursday evening on his way back from leave.  He had been ill with trench fever and bronchitis.

Dr. Murray’s candidature goes on apace.  Meetings have now been held in most of the country districts asking him to stand for the constituency.

Did you not go to your Societies on Friday evening?  There was no mention of them in your letter. I am making some notes just now with the Sixth on some differences between the Greek tragedy and Shakespearean tragedy.  Shall I send on a copy to you?  A month now will bring you to the holidays, so it is not very long, and the exam’s. will melt off one by one.  “Pit a stoot hert tae a stay brae!”

I was not out at church yesterday.  Mamma went; it was Mr. Maciver of Uig who was preaching.  We hear no word of when Mr. Mills will be home.

Barrie sends his regards.  The other evening I got down the papers I was working at on the table, and forthwith he climbed up and sat down on the corner as he used to do when you were at lessons.  He is waiting to hear your opinion of his photo.  It was his profile picture we sent; here is his front view.  Mamma is reading me extracts from “The Clarion.”  Good Night!  Our best love.

Papa.

P.S. How are the funds?

Ref: 1992.50.64ii/L31

Transcribed by Barry Shelby, Museum Visitor Assistant

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