Remember Me

Remember Me

Thursday, June 30, 2016

June 30th 1916, Letter # 44 Raining in Derbyshire

Can Red Cross Special Hospital
Derbyshire England
June 30, 1916

Dear Mother
            Still raining. This darn country is worse than BC in winter time, when it is not raining it is trying to.  A person has to be half duck to like this climate.  I am sending you a picture in a day or so.  I had one all ready the other day then all at once I changed my mind and destroyed it.  But some of these days when I think I can stand you laughing at it, I will send one.
          I had paid my perfectly good cash in advance or else he could of kept them.  They are absolutely rotten and when I look at myself I have to laugh.  However it is me in a government issue.

Charley Bailey's step father and the only dad he ever knew.  My dad; Thomas Kenneth Perrin was very fond of his Grandfather Marmaduke.          
I suppose you are busy as can be.  This job of mine is sure all right for experience but it is one awful tour.  I have the dispensary all fixed up now and things are runny pretty smooth.  It will soon be time for the results of the Exams. I sincerely hope the kid gets through but even if she did fail it would not be her fault as she has not had teachers etc.
Tell Dad that I was talking to an English soldier the other day who had been in Dauphin. I told him I had been once or twice and he wanted to know if I knew the big white curly headed man that used to run a hotel, I said that I knew him slightly.   I afterwards learned that he used to work for Bol Cruise. 
Remember me to Dad and VV
Love Chas

There is no photo of Charley in his Government issue but we do have this picture of "the big white curly haired man" Charley's stepdad; Marmaduke.


Photo:  "Canadians at the Somme in 1916, with troops leaving front-line trenches while relief units moved in to take over."  Follow the link to read about 'Canadians on the Somme' while Charley works at the Red Cross Hospital in Derbyshire.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

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

Can Red Cross Special Hospital
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

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

"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

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

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Letter # 42 June 2nd, 1916 : Charley The Canadian Chemist

Can Red Cross Special Hospital
Derbyshire England
2 June 1916 

Dear Mother 
I guess you wonder just what kind of a gink I am when you don’t hear from me for about five weeks and then I start writing every day or so.  Well I got one promotion but I don’t like it very much but will get another before long I think.  I have a very nice little dispensary and have complete charge.  So I come and go when I like just the same as if I was in a store of my own and am responsible to no one only the Colonel. 

The weather here is perfect and the scenery is at its very best but the town is absolutely dead.  I have been at some very nice homes since I came here the fellow I go out with is a professor of Music in civilian life and so he plays the Organ in one of the churches and goes to all the charity concerts, etc.  We get a good few invitations out.

I was at a home the other day that the paintings cost thousand of dollars afterwards I went motoring with the daughter and mother and she seems to like the Canadian Chemist as I have been asked to tea tomorrow.

It makes me laugh when I think of these people in this country you see they never saw any Canadians in this part before and they imagine that we are all owners of big ranches and we are such brave fellows to come all the way from Canada to fight for England.
One of the boys told an English girl that he owned a Gopher Ranch and she didn’t know a gopher from an ostrich, she says “My you Canadians make a tremendous lot of money” Just at that particular time he couldn’t have bought a package of smokes.  

How is Dad getting on with the seeding? It is reported here that the seeding in Canada is very favourable.  I sincerely hope that report is correct.  The patients are coming in very fast now and there are a few here from Winnipeg.  A couple of them knew me but I never saw them to know before. 

I was down to the mineral baths the other day they are perfect.  The fixtures alone are worth a fortune. Well, Mother the sisters will be coming in with prescriptions soon so I must get ready for them.  Remembrance to Dad and VV and answer soon.  
Cpl Charles

A page from The War Diaries of the First World War; Collections Canada.  This is the first mention I've discovered in the War Diaries that includes CR Bailey by name.  CANADIAN RED CROSS SPECIAL HOSPITAL, BUXTON, Derbyshire, England  April 17th 1916

As an aside: 5 Canadian nursing sisters came on staff at the same time, taking over the organization of the ward and took over the work of stamping, and sewing in silk the name of the Hospital on all linen that had to that time been delivered.

More about this Canadian Hospital in Buxton from the wonderful resource that is the Buxton War Memorials website.

The Buxton Hydro Hotel, with bed capacity of 700, and which was said to "contain all of the most up-to-date surgical appliances yet invented, many of which are made in the machine shops of the Arts and Crafts Department of the hospital".

The Buxton Red Cross Special Hospital opened on the 1st February 1916 and remained in operation until the 26th March 1919. "The Canadian Great War Project" has records for 12 Doctors and Nurses of the Canadian Army Medical Corps [CAMC] who served at Buxton, and their records can be accessed by clicking the CGWP link. The first CO was Lt. Col. Henry D. Johnson.

The Hospital was set up in the Peak Hydro Hotel, on Terrace Road, Buxton, which now houses Buxton

The Hospital could accommodate up to 275 patients
and as well as the CAMC staff, was also staffed by
members of the Canadian Red Cross Society.

Many of the Canadian casualties who are buried in
Buxton Cemetery spent their last days in the Hospital,
which specialized in cases of Neurasthenia (shell
shock), as well as rheumatism and arthritis, malaria
and heart disease.