Remember Me

Remember Me

Saturday, May 21, 2016

May 21st, 1916 Letter #41 From Charley to his sister Vida Valerie

A letter from Charley to his younger sister Vida Valerie (VV) who is attending college in Holland, Manitoba. 

Can Red Cross Special Hospital
Derbyshire England

May 21st, 1916

Dear V-V
I see you still have that foolish idea about learning the Drug Business well the sooner you get that out of your head the better because as a woman you would never be able to demand any wages and you would never make a success of a Store of your own. 
I don’t by any means that it would be because you are not capable or anything like that, but it is because of the people of today do not feel much confidence in Women Doctors or Women Lawyers or Druggists and the drug business is no place for a girl.  In the Drug world people kind of laugh if you tell then you employ a female dispenser. 
So really VV if you take my advice you will teach and with the money finish and get your degree, then you are somebody and you have a decent social standing.  If this war lasts just another year or so, then I will be able to help you but till then do all you can towards finishing in Arts. 
          I am dispensing here but don’t like the place and in order to get a promotion I have to stay so you see how I am fixed.  I want the promotion and I don’t want to stay.
          You were saying Ina and Karl are Happy well I sincerely hope they continue to be so but I think the novelty of the thing will soon be over.
          Mother was saying she had Rheumatism.  I wished she was here because this is a hospital specially for Rheumatics you see this mineral water contains Sodium and Radium.
          Say you talk about getting fat, well I have gained just about 16 lbs since Xmas and it makes me look a lot shorter.  But even the fellows are noticing it and jolly me about getting porky.  My old tunic will not even as much as button on me.
          You see I never hear from any of them in Winnipeg. As I have only wrote one letter since I came back.  Occasionally Hess drops me a line or so but for the last three months I have never answered one.  I suppose the least I could do would be to drop a note anyway.  So some of these days I might get feeling sentimental and answer one.
Well Kid, I see by this letter it has gone to three different towns for me and on the back of the envelope it has written in Blue Pencil “Hello Dolly how are you old boy” so I must have a Winnipeg friend in one of those places. 
Well VV I am going to draw to a close remember me to Mother and Dad and think well on what I have said. 
Your brother

Just four months earlier in January 1916, some women in Manitoba became the first in Canada to win the right to vote in provincial elections and to hold elected office.

"In Britain, throughout the war, both the government and the press tended for propaganda reasons, to exaggerate the extent to which women took over men's jobs. Actual female dentists, barbers and architects - all of which were featured on war savings postcards - were extremely rare. Most male-dominated professions remained closed to women. Even in areas where they were employed in large numbers, such as munitions and transport, they were often treated as inferior, stop-gap replacements for enlisted men. Moreover, women's wages, routinely portrayed as 'high' in the wartime press, remained significantly lower than those of their male counterparts.

Many women did find their wartime labour experiences in some way 'liberating', if only because it freed them from woefully paid jobs in domestic service. But the comment made in 1918 by the women's suffrage campaigner Millicent Fawcett - that 'the war revolutionized the industrial position of women' - should be treated with caution."

From the commentary to the BBC TV series Out of the Doll’s House, which looked at the history of women in the twentieth century (1988)

Monday, May 16, 2016

May 16, 1916 Letter # 40 from Buxton, Derbyshire

Can Red Cross Hospital
Peak Hotel
Derbyshire England

16th, May 1916

Dear Mother
      Well here is another change it came as a great surprise when the Officer came in to the London Depot and said we would have to return all the Drugs to the Wholesale Drug house as the A.D.M.S. had decided to close the Depot in London and let the Hospitals get their stuff from Shorncliff.  If they had only waited just another week or so I would have had my promotion and I wouldn’t of cared then.  However I am here and in all likelihood I will get something pretty good here as it is along the same kind of work as I have been doing for the previous year.  If the dispensing amounts to anything it will be just as good an opportunity as London would have been.

     Buxton is a place of natural mineral waters and it is supposed to contain a percentage of Radium which be taking baths in it will cure rheumatism.  So putting a long story short, it will be a Hospital for Rheumatic cases belonging to the Can. Contingents only.

Devonshire Hospital, Buxton (1916) - First World War | BFI. 
     This Hospital has been fitted throughout by the Can Red Cross Society the men are the only things that the government has supplied.  We have about three hundred beds several large sitting rooms and least but not last a large dancing hall within the building one of the men was a professor of music before he joined and needless to say we have plenty of music, etc.

     They have some beautiful walks and gardens here the only thing that is wrong is they have nothing of any life and a fellow soon gets tired of seeing cripples and beautiful promenades.

     However I am still on this side of the Channel. A few days ago I came very near asking them to send me back to the old unit in France but I got over it all right and I am still here.  A fellow sure has to be content with flowers and trees and etc if he intends to live here but I guess after all said and done it is better than having the German Artillery trying to disfigure you.

          I have had no word from anybody since a month ago, as it is very seldom I ever write anybody other than your self.  I suppose Dad is very busy being that it is springtime and all the seeding and etc.
     Well Mother this is one son of a gun of a long letter for the Right Hon to write ‘don’t you think’ I am almost afraid to continue lest you should succumb “nice flow of English, eh?”  Remember me to Dad and tell V-V to write as I will ans. her other letter in a day or so.

Love    Warrior Chas

"The Peak Hydro, Buxton" Photo (above) and the following Text 

"In August 1914 the Peak Hydro advertised that they had "the finest ballroom in the North" as well as "the only Turkish Baths in Buxton". The hotel was described as" luxuriously furnished" and with "the finest cuisine" Then war was declared and by November 1914 the "Royal Engineers had set up a headquarters for the preliminary training of 1,800 men" at the Hydro. On 11 Aug 1916 the Duchess of Devonshire opened the Canadian Red Cross Hospital which had been set up at the hotel. The Times noted that" many Canadians were present, including Major-General Sir Sam Hughes".
"The Peak Hydro, Buxton Canadian Hospital", published by R. Sneath, 3 Paradise St., Sheffield. Posted Buxton 5 Jun 1918  In a private collection (PC) Researched by and © Ann Andrews Intended for personal use only"