The Munro Letters 1914 - 1917 : Letters Home from the Front - World War I
Date of Letter:
1918/05/14
Summary:
In which Blossom Fisher sends news from London, England to Jessie Munro. Includes news of Melville's well being, Dr. Fisher's practise and voluntary war effort, and description of conditions in war time London i.e. high food costs, rations, air raids.
Transcription:
Both Mrs. Thornton & Mrs. Blye owe me letters, so when you see them, just tell them there is a good lecture in store for them when I return.

May 14. 1918
4. Berners St
London. W.
England

My dear Mrs Munro,

I have been so long in answering your bright welcome interesting letter, I hope you will not think me indifferent. and I want to thank you too for the lovely thought in attempting to send the Xmas cake etc. to me. It was so kind of you; but I am pleased that when I could not have it, a soldier had the pleasure. But thanks just the same. "Tis not the weight of the jewel or plate or the fondle of silk or fur; 'Tis the spirit in which the gift is rich, as the gifts of the wise ones were: and we are not told whose gift was gold or whose was the gift of myrrh." Thanks for the spirit. Before commencing to write this letter I simply took the time to go to the Canadian Record office and find out any news I could of Melville. The very latest reports say that he is alright, not ill or wounded. All my letters to Melville have been returned as incorrectly addressed,- Melville so far has sent field post-cards, which do not give any address - and altho' they would not give me his correct address at the Record Office, they assured me if I wrote it in their care, they would forward it to him. So I will write to-night to him, as he should soon get leave and we hope he will come to see us, when that happy event takes place. He was such a dear clean good boy when here before, it will be a pleasure to see him. But your children are all sweet - Gordon is always a happy memory, and I do not think of him as dead, Mrs. Munro, but just in another world of happier and greater usefulness. His week with us will always be a bright memory. I know you must worry, but I feel sure Melville will be alright. And from what I can learn I don't think our boys are in the heavy fighting now. More the censor would not let me say.

Howard Hagarman was in to see us last Friday evening on his way to the North of England. He is to be on home service which will be comforting to his bride. We had the pleasure of having them come to see us on their honeymoon, and we liked her very much indeed. She is a sweet pretty sensible girl, and Howard was a lucky boy. Not many of the boys have had leave lately and our Military callers have recently been English Naval officers, all nice men too. We have been fortunate in meeting so many nice English people. They like D. Fisher so much & of course Mrs Fisher is his wife. Ahem! Many people want D. Fisher to start practicing in London and I am sure he would make a splendid success, but we like Canada best and much as we love London, yet I am afraid Oakville spoiled us & back to Canada we will go. If the submarines are not too nasty we hope to return the latter part of June or early July and D. Fisher hopes to settle in Toronto. He has been working awfully hard, and I feel he had done more than his share of voluntary war work. He really requires a rest and a change. In the mornings he lectures to the final year medical men in Surgery for the London, Oxford and Cambridge degrees, and he had been wonderfully successful in having them pass, I should say get their degrees. The rest of the day he sees patients (surgical) and does operations, and he does practically all the emergency operations which come at night. And in a big hospital they are many. Yesterday from 1:30 p.m until 5 p.m he saw (in a medical way) ninety five surgical cases, & some afternoons he has even more. He comes home very tired. But you know his way, he will work. of course the experience had been wonderful, but I think it time for us to return, and I long to get in a home of my own again - be it ever so humble.

Then too food conditions are not the best now. As soon as the price of anything is government controlled or "fixed", the article at once disappears, not to appear again. It is really shocking where the things disappear to. I fancy you know our ration allowances - lb of butter or margarine (not both) each a week, 20 cents (10d.) worth of fresh meat each a week, lb of sugar each a week. I miss the fresh meat most awfully, as I seldom eat bacon -- & it is also rationed - and I am almost twice as thin as when I was in Oakville. And, it is almost impossible to buy dripping or lard or cheese. in fact I have not seen any since Xmas. Things which are not fixed regarding prices, are very expensive. I saw a small chicken - which of course requires coupons - the price of which was $4.50. of course I did not feel like paying that price & having to give my coupons too. The bread has become almost as bad as when war bread was introduced, dark & sour & heavy. so that we can scarcely eat it. However we do get all the potatoes we want & lovely fresh eggs at $1.06 a dozen. On Monday the controlled price of new potatoes will be $4.80 a bushel - at present they are $18.00 a bushel - so I fancy they will immediately disappear. I couldn't begin to tell you the rise in prices of the various things (uncontrolled). Only just this little enlightening statement. Beets are usually sold here cooked & by the pound. In by-gone days one would get 4 or 5 for a penny. This week I was asked 12 cents for one ordinary not-nicely-shaped beet, & beets are plentiful. But things might be so much worse than they are, we are very thankful to have the good meals that we do. One of my dear English friends - whose husband is a lawyer - keeps a servant who comes by the day. On a Saturday my friend & her little girl came down town, the maid had left before the husband returned in the evening, having left a stew ready - containing all the Sunday & Monday meat ration - to heat up for Sunday. The husband returned, spied the stew & not knowing their total ration was in it ate it all up then & there, & when my friend returned, she was in despair, though amused, over what she would have for Sunday. One simply gets hungry for meat. See? It is funny of course. But it is lovely that the soldiers get good bread and plenty of meat. It is so necessary for them & they deserve it. But enough of food talk, even though it is the fashion.

It is good to be able to say that the Allies have done wonderfully well to have held their own so well in France & I think they will continue to do so. we are so glad Lloyd George is still at the head of things.

Fortunately we have had no air raids for a long time. The old Zepp. raids were a dream compared to the aeroplane raids & all the preparation etc for them. But the warnings are a great comfort and one can go to bed feeling sure that they will be wakened first by a warning, not by bombs.

This is my last bit of paper except what I am keeping for Melville's letter, else I could write more. Am so glad Mr. Munro got the $2000.00 a year. Of course he deserves much more, but few people - especially ministers, get what they deserve. I would enjoy very much a Sunday morning service, & we look forward to that blessing in the future. Remember us kindly to all our friends & accept our love for your own selves. Again thanking you for your nice letter & good wishes,

Ever Sincerely Yours.

Blossom Fisher.
Object ID:
2017.22.147
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Munro Letters, May 14, 1918Munro Letters, May 14, 1918