© Alex Watson 2008 All rights reserved.
Letters from Captain.
W.H.J. Wreford to Andy McHugh, Gardener, Seskinore.
Feb 6th 1938.
Will you until further notice forward all letters to me at. Hotel Victoria, Davos. Platz. Switzerland.
I am glad all is well at Home and I hope that you are all well. I expect to be back early in April. The weather here has been very bad and I’m afraid has done me little good.
Miss. Xenia is very well and rides her donkey every day.
I leave here on Saturday the 12th for Switzerland. The Rev. Dougherty sent me some photographs of the mistresses Garden. I am so glad you are keeping it so beautifully.
11 Jan 1939
I am writing for the Captain as he is not well enough to do so himself.
He has asked me to send you the enclosed cheque for the Insurance cards, and to tell you that he has had to pay £2-14-2. for Tom Bells card, half of which will have to be deducted gradually from his wages.
He also wants to know if the rabbit hampers from Wilcox have been returned.
I hope you and your family are all well in spite of the cold weather.
We have had no snow here and only 3 degrees at the worst but some parts of England have suffered terribly.
I was so sorry to hear of the damage to Seskinore Church, but I am thoughtful that no one was injured.
With kind remembrances to you and to your family.
Christabel Gladwell. [sic]
July 18th 1939.
July 21st is the Mistress’s birthday. I want you to make my wreath for the garden this time and I enclose a card to put on it. I expect you will have enough flowers in the garden but if not will you order what you want from Davy Young? I think it would be nicer to use our own flowers. I know you will make a lovely wreath for me. I am glad the twelfth went off quietly. The magazines arrived safely. I want you to send something out to me by airmail. In my bedroom you will find a heavy pair of black shoes – with nails on the soles – they have trees in them and the name of the maker “Maxwell” I think is on the trees. Will you just mark the “Property of Patient in Sanitorium” I am afraid they are not for me to wear as I still can’t walk but I want to give them away to somebody here!
The weather is bad again and my pains with it, I am really so tired of it all.
I hope you will be able to arrange for your wife and Cecilia to get away, it will do them both good. How is Anna? Is there a baby on the way yet? I hope you are all well.
July 24th 1939.
Thank you for your letter. I am so glad you made such a lovely wreath for the Mistress’s Garden and that it looked well on the 21st – I expect the flowering shrubs have been very good this year as you have had more sunshine than usual. Here as usual the weather is terrible – I do wish I could get home – but I don’t seem to make much improvement.
I want your wife and Cecilia to get away if you can possibly manage it – there must be somebody trustworthy who could be in the house during the daytime. I enclose the wages cheque – look after yourself as I don’t know what I should do without you!
September 18th 1939.
I haven’t heard from you now for a very long time. I know this isn’t your fault – as the post is hopeless just now. I hope you got my letter telling you to keep the £7-odd you had towards wages. I now enclose a cheque for £10 for you to carry on with. I am not quite certain as to how I stand regarding the wage account, as I have always left it to you to let me know what I owe you! I am coming back as soon as I can get some means of transport, but not being able to walk at all makes it rather difficult for me. If you want anything please see Mr. McCoy and he can wire to me. I am very anxious to have news. I have heard nothing from you since war started – but I expect you have written and I shall get you letter eventually – how terrible it all is – the last one was bad enough, I would telephone to you – but all the trunk lines are closed. When you receive this will you send me a “night letter”* - you can send 24 words for 3/6- and just let me know how you all are – Wreford, Clavadel – is enough as regard address. I haven’t had an English paper for 10 days, so you can imagine how isolated we are, I suppose we ought to plough all the available land at Seskinore – but I expect Bob will see to all that for me. I shall be so glad to get home again. It is nearly a year since I last saw you all. If you hear of a good sow in litter – I think it might be a good thing to buy one. I will let you have fair warning of my arrival it will take me I’m afraid a long time to get back. I shall be glad to get your next letter.
Miss Xenia and Nurse are now staying with Mrs. Boteler.
* Night Telegram at special rate.
October 14th 1939.
This is a letter in great haste to send you the petrol coupons, which you forwarded to me here – will you either arrange yourself or ask Mr. McCoy to arrange to have them sent to you in the future – I got your letter of the 5th today. I hope you have received the wages cheque by now that I sent on the 9th. I don’t like the look of things at all at the moment I only wish that I were at home. I am glad the Mistress’s Garden is looking so well – perhaps somebody could take a photograph of it for me before all the blossom goes? (only if anyone you know has a camera). I’m glad you had such a lovely summer, would that I had been there to enjoy it.
I hope you are as comfortable as possible in the house and that you have easy chairs in the kitchen. There are several in the bedrooms that you could use. I hope too that Anna is going on well. I have told Nurse to send her all she can for her baby. I will write you again in a few days. It is still – with things as they are now, quite impossible to make any plans but maybe things will straighten out soon.
I hope you are all well and also Montgomery and Bell. Is Condy alright?
February 12th 1940
Have just received your letter of the 2nd. I hope by now you have received mine of Jan 29th and Feb 8th, one never knows what happens to letters these days. I was so sorry to hear about McConnell. I do hope old McCausland is better. Please see that none of the old people are short for their fires, give them turf – logs – or even coal from me but see they have enough to keep them warm in this terrible weather. Do what you think is best. I am much the same.
Keep the parcel for me.
I am so glad the wreaths were nice.
February 26th 1940.
I can’t write much yet. I enclose a cheque which with the one I sent on February 16th will make the wages correct up to march 6th – I am glad that you are well and that all is well at home, I do hope you are comfortable in the house – I am sorry you have been away so long from your own house – I hope I shall be able to write you a long letter soon. This last attack has left me very weak and shaky. Is the enclosed account from Crawford and Wilson correct? I am so tired of being here it is very lonely and I long to get home.