Jan. 18 [1918]

Dear Mother,

You will be quite interested I suppose to know what I
am up to now. Well, I am living in a long barrack with a little
cubicle to myself, a sheet hung in a corner for a wardrobe & several
large packing boxes for dressing table & bureau; it is very comfortable
& so far has been warm, but then the weather has been warm
too. We have delicious food which we Eat in another barrack
in a very haphazard manner, anyone coming in at any time
they feel like--in fact as far as material comforts go we are
perfectly fixed.

My job so far has been under Mimi Scott--she is at the
head of the supplies & sterilization, which is quite a job because
she has the operating room & rooms for dressings to keep in order.
I can't say that I am too intelligent about the work but I am
catching on all the time. I expect that when Mrs. Daly comes
back I will have numerous things to do for her. At present
the w
I now realize for the first time what work in
a hospital is--it is continuous & never ceasing--Milly Fowler
usually spends Eleven or twelve hours a day on her ward--
of course I am not tied down in any way like that, but
in cases of many operations & pansements the supply End of
the outfit is kept pretty well on the jump too.

I never hated the war so much before. I have seen
Enough wounds to hate them, & I don't see how people
who have been in it for 3 1/2 years can bear up at all, just
one long unending hashing up of people. Well, you have heard
all that sort of thing before, but I can tell you that surgical
dressings are appreciated. We use practically nothing but
5x4 (?) pansements compresses, coton, and great big compresses which
we make here in the hospital & which are called "pansements
Americains." I don't know what happens to all your fancy
dressings but I suppose they go to the American hospitals.
They have some tin boxes here which came from the Peter
Bent & French Wounded & they treasure them--they are
wonderful to keep coton etc. etc.

This is a mixed crowd here--the two Fowlers, Suzette
Ryerson & Mrs. Anderson you know--the latter is not
quick at becoming a nurse but she is pleasant & I think
very nice. Just at present she is off on a visit to the King
of Belgium--when our head doctor heard of her invitation
he went with her himself to see about her papers, so now
our whole prestige & standing is raised. Then there is
Mimi Scott, you have doubtless often seen her name in the
society columns of Newport, Palm Beach etc., a Mrs. Blakeman,
who is young & lively, a Miss Smith, middle aged & steady,
a very nice French lady, and a young girl named Black.
Mrs. Daly & her sister are both away now & I think there are

several others who belong to us who are absent. Two
English girls, motor drivers, live in a tent right near. they
are fine, both have had experiences in Salonica & Russia
with the Scottish Women's Hospitals but they are as unspoiled
& unsophisticated as can be--they are here only temporarily
while awaiting further orders. Besides the American nurses
there are a group of eight French surgical nurses who
assist the doctors at operations etc.--they live in a separate
barrack & we see very little of them.

The country around here is pleasant & rolling. It is
a picturesque sight to see the blue of the French uniforms
against the landscape. Our village cannot consist of
over fifty houses & it is a quaint little place, some
cunning houses with little gardens attached & such a good
natured kindly lot of peasant folk. Of course this village was
once occupied by the Germans & has been the scene of action
so that some of the buildings have been destroyed. There
is another town not far from here which is utterly desolate,
hardly a roof standing. Strange to say Even with the little
I have seen I am in a way used to it already. I
wish I knew how much I was allowed to say because we
are on our honor & such things as being very busy, very
quiet etc. are not allowed because such news is supposed
to let out the knowledge of attacks etc.

We start work any time after Eight in the morning. You

would hate our breakfasts because what we do is
to get a cup from the End of the barrack, take the
coffee from the stove, toast a piece of bread any old way
over the stove & then Eat two or three perched together
either in the corridor or in each other's cubicles. I always
go into the Fowlers'; they are a fine pair, are always
doing Everything for Everyone Else, never get excited or
[?] angry & spread a good influence over the whole
crowd. Agnes sends her best love to you all, she said
to remember Pa particularly & she hopes he has forgiven
her for bringing me out here. I like it Ever so much
better than being in Paris because it is not nearly
so hectic, the work is regular, it is much more
sociable living with other girls, & I think it is a
more interesting situation.

This pen is hor horrible so I will stop for the
night. I just received two long letters from you. one
from Muriel with photos of Lev & the baby, one from Pa &
one from Dick, so I have done quite well. Pa said
something about a box of Maillard's sent via Mr. Hill--it
looks a little doubtful now, doesn't it?

Much love and all,
Nora

25.2 cm x 20 cm

From the Eleanor Saltonstall papers