Letter 17 - "My greatest sorrow is the loss of my two teeth."

A note from the Editors:

A couple of days after the crash and Oliver is recovering, and news about the accident from a fellow squadron mate shows he was lucky to escape so lightly.

Franked 24 AUG 17
Mrs Chas. E. Pearson,

39 Stationary Hospital France } BEF France
70 Squadron
Letter no 10

My dear people
The above are my two addresses but address my letters to the second as I hope not to be here much longer. My cuts have healed very rapidly although I haven’t had the stitches out yet & my eye is practically unbunged up. My greatest sorrow is the loss of my two teeth which I cannot get over. It’s so awkward amongst other things to eat. I even have to eat pears with a spoon! & I think that is the outside edge. The two teeth I have lost were also the two I invariably held my pipe with & it feels so awkward holding it in the other side.

One tooth, one of my tombstones, has gone completely & the one next door is all cracked up what there is of it & is broken off level with the gum & is very sensitive. My ankle is better & I am now allowed to walk about where I like dressed in a dressing gown. They have sent my kit here from the Squadron & with it my goggles that I was wearing at the time. They are smashed up 30/- gone west with a rush. I am sending them back to be mended with all haste. My cap has a little of my gore on.

Another fellow from the Squadron has joined me here. He was fighting a Bosch & got a lot of little splinters of bullets in his leg but got back to the aerodrome alright. He is to have them cut out to-day. He thanks me like anything for smashing up the bus I did as it was his & he did not like it (neither did I). A fellow came to see me yesterday & said I was well out of the smash so lightly as the buss was a total wreck.
I am picking up chess & beat a fellow here two of three games. Otherwise we spend out time chatting reading & strolling round.

My wrist watch has arrived safely & it is going finely I hope my cheque arrived too.
Last night there was a big migration of swallows here thousands of them wheeling round in the dusk of evening & twittering as they do. The worst here are the mosquitoes or “skitters” which torment one at night. They not only raise a lump but the lump also has a yellow head to it full of poison I suppose. I got bitten badly last night.

From here I can see our boys setting out over the line & how I wish I were with them. Yesterday a Bosch plane came over in broad daylight but rumour has it that he didn’t get back home. Archie made the usual pretty patterns in the sky without getting anywhere near the Bosch. Aunt May (TW) wrote me a letter telling me news of people I had never befor heard of and all about her troubles so that I should write to her from France I suppose. Anyway, now is a good chance & I have got it over. With much love to all from
Yours as always
Oliver XXXX

1 comment:

Mike Johnson said...

Some info on hospitals during the Great War, including the locations of 39 Stationary Hospital.