20th January 1916

At Queensferry. General Quarters this morning. The Captain was busy again and kept all hands busy as well. I was doing my best to make three “brilliant” cook’s mates understand the idea of stretcher drill and transportation of the wounded. First aid lectures were also being given by the two Surgeons, so we didn’t waste time in our part of the programme.

Received a letter from Mother today which caused me to¬† ponder a bit. She states right at the start that she has “hastened to write as she has been very uneasy about me of late and the tone of my letters leads her to think I have been ill”. Mother also says “I do not often dream but I did dream you were telling me it would be quite alright and I was not to worry”. Now I am wondering whether you have given the game away to Ma – innocently perhaps – or whether I have unconsciously written a letter with my real feelings too apparent. I did not inform Mother of my illness for two chief reasons: firstly, I knew it would only be a short affair and was nothing serious; secondly, I didn’t want to cause her unnecessary anxiety and worry. However I am now in a position to inform her truthfully that I am quite all right and I hope she will be happy and satisfied that such is the case.

Mother informs me that you and your Ma called in to see her on Monday morning, when you were returning from a shopping expedition – what were you doing home I wonder! Mother suggested spending the afternoon with her and so completing the day “off”. Ma thinks you are looking much better – good news this.

I have written to Mother and made a full confession re my late indisposition.

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