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Life in WW1 Country House Hospitals
© Leeds Museums and Galleries

Dialogue 9 - Letter-writing

The music fades down. We hear the noise of the trolley running along the wooden floor, growing steadily louder as it approaches. 
Fred: Heads up lads! Post is here.
We hear cheers and the sound of letters being opened. 
Netta: Nothing for you, Tom. Sorry. 
Tom: I was hoping I’d get something from my Mum. 
Alun: Well if you write to her a bit more then maybe she’ll write you back more often?
Tom: No, I don’t think so. I’m no good with words.
Netta: Well your hands are probably still a bit shaky. I tell you what, you tell me what you want to say and I will write it for you. 
Tom: Would you, Nurse? That’d be great.
Netta: We’ve got some paper here somewhere. (She opens some drawers and finds the writing paper. She pulls up a chair) … Now then, you just tell me what to put.
Tom: Oh right… erm… Dear Ma… hope you are all well… I’m doing champion... (now warming up a little) and you wouldn’t believe how grand this house is... 
Nurse Boyle comes bustling in with the local paper.
Kathleen: I’ve got the newspaper here. It says there’s been an explosion at a factory in the north – maybe it’s over at Cross gates, that Barnbow place? Apparently two young women have been killed.
Alun: It’s dangerous work they’re doing there and no mistake.
Fred: You don’t expect it to happen over here. (Suddenly angry) Haven’t we got enough people dying over at the front! 
The men go quiet and we just hear the newspaper being thrown down, following by the more gentle sound of pencil on paper as the men go back to their letter writing.