G: “just a few lines to let you know I am still thinking about you”

Postmark: none – enclosed in a letter?

Dated 22 Dec “19015”, Balvaig

Return address?
Messrs Finchey
York Street

My Dear John

Just a line hoping you are quite well and safe. I hope you will excuse if I have got a very bad hand, I am in pain with it so this is just a few lines to let you know I am still thinking about you. It is near Chrismas now. The time is working up until we are going home. I won’t be sorry, I am fed up with this life. Well I will say goodbye for the present hoping to hear from you soon. Good by Dear. I am yours to a sender all [?] G.

The message is surrounded by a number of “x” kiss marks.

Balvaig 02

Balvaig 01

Postcard shows:
“Forget me not. God be with you till we meet again. Ships and trains may take away, but friendship & love with us always will stay.” A card showing a map of Australia in the centre. Above, two hands, a man and a woman, hold each end of a knotted cord. The card also shows a ship and a train, and is decorated with glitter.

Jennie: “They say their shirts are just living and they are over run with rats”

Church Hill
Co. Down
22 Dec. 1915

My Dear Mother

This is just a wee line to say I am sending you these things. I’m sorry I have not got more to send. I hope this wee shawl will please you. They next size was 7s6d it was too dear just now. I hope you will put it on and wear it. I will get you a new one when it’s done.

I had a long letter from Johnnie yesterday. He is well and enjoyed all in the parcels. He wrote a very nice letter to Mrs Trimble thanking her for the trench cooker. Mr Trimble said they were two of the nicest letters ever he read. They think the like of him is not living. He said he was thankful for all in the parcels but he was gladdest to see the trench ointment than all I sent. It kills the vermin and cools their skin. They say their shirts are just living and they are over run with rats. I saw in the paper where they have sent 2 thousand dogs from Paris up to the trenches. He says sometimes they sleep in haylofts, sometimes in gateways, but he says the people have been better to him since he went away than ever they were before.

He had a long letter from Mr Tovie [?] and Cissie Morton sent him a parcel but it was lost on the way. He will be very lonely this Christmas. He says Jack and J McCullough [?] and he are together all the time. He says they all had this tea together as soon as my parcels arrived. I am glad I can help to ease their burden a wee bit.

I had a letter from wee John Mateer on Sunday. He says he’s going to write to his Granny again for she is lonely. I sent him a nice book. I hope he won’t tear it. I gave Minnie Crozier a nice wee pair of shoes and socks for the baby and a big ball for Samuel. She was awfully pleased. She was not bad to Johnnie. She is always glad to see me. She’s never long in getting a drop of tea ready anyway.

Now I think this is all. I hope you are better. Johnnie says if anything was to happen to you he does not know what we would do. I must tell you I hear today that Mr Chambers and Mr Archer [?] are both leaving their churches. I heard they were going to America to start Business [sic]. If it is true I think it is a shame.

Tell Annie I am sorry I have not much for her. She might be able to wear this blouse if they were washed. Would the coloured one be any good to you? I hope she will like the wee handkerchief. I hope Jimmie will like the cigarettes. I am sorry I have nothing better, but I have put nearly all the money I had in Johnnie’s parcel. I think he needs all we can give him.

I hope you will excuse this [scribble]. I hope you will be able to read this but I am in a hurry. It will be a lonely Christmas for us all this time, but God has been good to Johnnie for so far and I hope he will bring him home safe. I wish you all a Merry Christmas. I hope the New Year will be brighter than last year’s.

With best love
I remain
Your loving daughter

Write soon.