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Sunday, June 12, 2016

June 12, 1916 Letter #43 Charley and the 'Poultice Wallopers'

Can Red Cross Special Hospital
Buxton
Derbyshire England

June 12th, 1916

Dear Mother
          
There has been absolutely nothing new around here for the last week or so only three of the boys are leaving here for the Training School and from there to France.  They start his morning.  The weather here is absolutely rotten it has been raining for one week without a stop and for the life of me I can’t see where it is going to be beneficial to Rheumatic cases. 
          
I have the Dispensing just about finished; I mean just about all my stock is in.  But these infernal Sisters get on my nerves, one came down this morning and was quite put out because she had to come down again as I was in town buying some goods for the Colonel.  She said she thought it was just about time I was getting some sort of hours and I told her she could always find out if was open or not.  She wanted to know how so I told her “by trying the door.”  Gee Whiz she turned around and beat it like a shot.  It’s hard enough to take a calling down from one of the Officers, but I am sure none those poultice wallopers are going to tell me about my own business.
          
Gee it is so dark in here that I have to turn on the lights and it just 9:30 AM.  We are just a few miles from the famous city of Manchester and if I ever get a chance I am going to see it.  Do you know when I look back to the time when I first joined the Army, and think of the different places I have been to it makes one think that he has saw some of this world.
          
Tell VV I received her last letter OK and she is pretty strong on her Latin phrases.  Well Mother remembrance to Dad and V-V and answer soon.
Love Chas

P.S.
The Nursing Sister from the third floor was just in, she is a little more civil.
Chas.







"The term "poultice walloper" originated in British Naval slang for medical staff. "  pg 179 

We're only "Poultice Wallopers" a-bringing up the rear;
But with fractured bones or blistered heels you're pleased to have us near;
You'll want our splint and bandages before another year,
As we go marching on.

We're only "Poultice Wallopers" a-bringing up the rear;
We can't enjoy the martial strains that cheer the Pioneer;
But we'll be there in step, my boys, without a doubt or fear,
When we get to Berlin

No! we are not downhearted,
No! we are not downhearted,
No! we are not downhearted,
As we go marching on.

Written by Cdn James Robertson, The Western Scot, Dec 4, 1915
from THE ONES WHO HAVE TO PAY: THE SOLDIERS-POETS OF VICTORIA BC IN THE GREAT WAR   By ROBERT RATCLIFFE TAYLOR

Unrelated to Charley Bailey, but a group photograph of Canadian Nursing Sisters in uniform (WW1)