May 15th 1920

Sydney Carline and his brother Richard have moved on since their last letter from Cairo in May 1919, and this one is from Mesopotamia:

“Mespot, 12th July 1919.

I am sorry I have not written a proper letter, but it is very difficult to find time for writing in this country. The early morning is sacred for work, as the afternoon is silent and universally given up to sleep. One complies with this not from indulgence, but because one’s eyes will not keep open. After tea one can again work and by dinner one is quite exhausted, and by reason of our getting up at sunrise, I, like a boy after the jam in the cupboard, slink off early to bed on the roof-top.

Everyone sleeps on the roof-top in order to get the cool breeze. Towards dusk there is quite a chatter, as all the many wives of each household are busy putting the beds out on their roofs, which are of course flat, and in the better class houses have low walls separating them from the neighbours…

Occasionally the silence of the night is perturbed by a wife who has still some household work to perform for her lord and master, who is probably reclining and smoking on his wooden bed…

It is now 7 and breakfast time. I must get to work on my picture of dropping bread on Kut, after which I have only one more to do to finish my work here.”

 

 

2 thoughts on “May 15th 1920

  1. Peggy Obrecht says:

    You probably know Wallace Hardman was killed at Kut. It made me sad reading this but then I looked him up in our WWI book about the family and I will always love rereading his beautiful poem about Mary Queen of Scots, at the Dragon school, when he was only 13.

    I was asked to give a talk about the family and the War in 2018 and people in the audience were so impressed that any school could turn out such talented students. I often wonder if that is the case today.

    Can’t wait for your book.

    Peggy

    Like

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