September 14, 1918
Dear Mother and Father:
We had a delivery of mail yesterday, the first in two weeks. I had every anticipation of receiving a handful of letters and all I got was a postal card from Gladys. I have had only one letter from home in five weeks. I know you are writing regularly and I don’t like to have any letters get lost. I wonder if you have been getting all of my letters. I am going to write you every Sunday for certain and during the week if I can. I haven’t been very systematic or regular in my letter writing and especially of late when I have been trying to get all the time for practice that I could.
I am now working in the operating room again giving anesthetics. I am assigned to Capt. Harvey’s operating team. He is a head and brain specialist and cases of that nature are given to him to do. We work regular hours but they are so mixed up that it is hard to keep track of them. We start one morning at seven and work until noon, then we are off until seven at night, on till seven next morning, off till noon, on till seven and off till seven next morning and begin the same order over again. That system gives us one evening on and one off etc. We had one bad case this morning. A man had a piece of shrapnel that went through the eye and socket up into his brain. Capt. Harvey got the piece of iron out. One of the man’s eyes is out and he probably will lose the sight of the other. In the operating room is where you see the terrible results of the war.
Before now you will know about the drive around St. Michiels (?). Newspapers are two days old when we get them so you know more about what is taking place than I do. We get reports from the men themselves but they are always just local and don’t mean much. The Americans are meeting with almost no resistance. The soldiers they are up against are mostly Austrians and as soon as the Americans go after them they surrender.
We have had quite a number of wounded prisoners through here. Our own casualties have been very slight. We had a couple of Germans on our table the other night. They were scared to death. When I put them to sleep I guess they doubted whether they would ever wake up again. We treat them well and they haven’t anything to fear from us. We had one officer and he raised a big fuss about having to give up his personal belongings but it didn’t do him much good. Lots of them have pictures with them of their wives and families. Some of them have beautiful children and wives. The pictures show no signs of starvation or suffering and I doubt a lot that what we hear about their privations. No doubt everything is high and the poor are unable to get things they would like to have but I haven’t seen any signs of actual starvation.
Last night I had a big surprise. Another evacuation hospital passed by here yesterday and they left their nurses to stay with us until they got their new place set up. I was strolling around the camp and met Alice Atkinson. You will remember that she is the nurse that used to sing in the choir at St. Edmonds. I knew she was in the service and hoped to see her sometime. She is the only person I have met over here that I know. We have been visiting and talking over old times and have enjoyed being together. Se probably will be here a day or two yet. Se came over a month after we did.
We have quite a nice little theatre here and about twice a week the YMCA gets some films and puts on a show. Last night we put on a home talent concert. Sgt. Hill sang and Sgt. Fontaine and I played, we had some readings and a little comedy. It was a pretty fair show and seemed to be much enjoyed by everybody.
This afternoon there was a baseball game between our team and the hospital that is working here with us. There is quite a little rivalry between the two organizations and both hospitals backed their team to the limit. We beat them pretty badly, 13 to 3 and tonight there is a pretty gloomy bunch on the other side of the camp. There was a lot of money up on the game and number six must be about broke now.
Tonight we heard an unofficial report that Metz had been taken by the Americans. Metz is supposed to be the most strongly fortified city in the world. I hope the news is true but I am doubtful of it. We are anxiously awaiting definite news from the Front. We know that big gains have been made.
Well, I hope that my letters will find me soon. I am sure they must have gotten lost somewhere.
P.S. Have not had any news on the YMCA proposition yet.
© Copyright 2014 by Alice Kitchin Enichen, All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without permission.