Letters From The Bowes Brothers – May 14, 1916 Bramshott Military Hospital, England

January 31, 2013 by Tom MacGregor

Dear Mother,

I have made a wonderful recovery in a short time. I sure was a bad-looking wreck three weeks ago but I am nearly myself once more. I am getting fatter every day. Sisters from the ward say they hardly know me now and as the doctor says I have a leg restored from the grave but it is jake now. I was up and walked four steps on it this morning from a chair back to bed. It seems a long time since I came here 104 days today since I went sick. I sure have seen some operating done since I came to this work.

The saddest thing I ever saw in my life was here. Some boys from 8 Manchester Battalion hired a carat gold limo to take them to Whitley Camp one night and on the way over took 26 Middlesex Regiment who were out on night manoeuvres. After passing all but the first two columns, a radius rod broke and they ran into about a dozen of the 26th’s men and officers. But the fellows in the car got hurt worse than the others.

One 26th boy is here yet with a cut head which they can’t heal. One of the 8th fellows died here and his pal after being unconscious seven days got over his wound but his memory has gone completely. His father came to take him home and he didn’t even know him. I’ll never forget the poor old man. It sure was hard on the boys as they had been through the Gallipoli campaign and both wounded the same day, sent to hospital in England and then attached to 8th Manchester. Now one is dead and the other don’t know anything. His mind is a blank and he can hardly talk, all owing to one of old Henry Ford’s peace cars bursting a radius rod.

Our re-enforcements arrived safely so we have nearly a brand new battalion again. I hope we go as a unit this time, so then the officers can earn their high pay and learn what it is like to eat mulligan stew seven days a week. I am dying to get out of hospital and get someplace where I can buy myself about a five-dollar feed.

Yours as ever,

Cliff

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