Indian Military Hospital       Lucknow

UP  India





Dear Alex


Many thanks for your past letter dated 5/3/36.


By next week, we will again be on the move, giving up our bungalow for six months, which will entail a complete packing up of all our belongings.  But so accustomed have we become to this, that we shall not begin till two or three days before we set out.  We both like the variety of this life here more and more, which is resolving itself into an annual (roughly) seven months of excellent weather in the plains, three months in the hills and two on holiday probably abroad or at home (this year we hope to take a cheap trip to China and Japan which is a favourite way of spending a holiday here.  Next year we hope to come home).


Next week then, the whole family goes on tour with my test-lenses and test-types etc, first to Patua, Calcutta and a few places round about, then to Shillong a hill resort 5000ft up in the Assam Hills, and finally to Darjeeling (7,500 ft) which is in view of Kinchingjunga and Everest.  Here I hope to get a few days leave and we shall return here about the middle of May, when I shall motor Tess and Sylvia Ann up to Chanbatia (8,000 ft up) on the Himalayan range, due north of Lucknow.  The heat by then will be considerable, but I shall have to return to Lucknow and shall stay in the RAMC mess amongst the other medics, bachelors or grass-widowers, and employ a secret-agent in Chanbatia to break peoples glasses so that I shall be summoned there to re-test for them.  As a matter of fact, with luck I should get up on duty for a few weeks in June.  July I shall spend in the plains, and in August and September we propose to go on holiday to Japan. 









There will be quite a jolly house party at Chanbatia where Tess and Sylvia Ann are going.  The house is the Parsonage and is said to be right on a summit with marvelous views of the snows.  Besides them will be our friends, Mr. and Mrs. Clark, (a young couple we knew well in Bangalore), Matheson, a young Scots Chaplain from Ross shire with whom we are very “pally” here, (his wife is at home expecting a baby) and an elderly Canon (family at home) who fancies himself as a Manager and whom the ladies are leaving to do the housekeeping!  Add to these, our dog and the Clark’s cat, and you have a household with infinite possibilities.


Here in Lucknow it is now “warming up” – about 95º-100º in the shade is its maximum but it cools at night and with fans, it is not yet unpleasant.  The place has been very gay jirst before the exodus to the hills again.  We have had some very good dinner parties, going to the cinema and occasionally dances after that; picnics (though it’s now too warm for these); tennis, gold and swimming.  There are two marvelous swimming pools in the club here.  Lucknow boasts two modern restaurants cum dance halls (chiefly kept going by the Tommies).  Owing to the scarcity of women, even when we go in a party, the Tommies are always trying to break in on us for a partner!  We feel we can look forward to a very gay time next cold weather. 


Work proceeds satisfactorily.  I am hoping to get an Eye Department at hospital constructed soon.  Something after the plan overleaf


I am having meantime one or two private patients a month, and as these mean £1.5.0, or £2.10.0 each if they are very well to do, I must see what I can do next winter.  Most of the people I see, however, are entitled to free treatment.  One last saw Sir Stewart Duke Eloer, and is reputed to have a private income of £3,000 a year.  Hard luck!










I expect my appointment as Medical Examiner of Pilots for the Civil Aviation Department in United Provinces to go through soon.


Enclosed are two new snaps of Sylvia Ann at 8½ months.  She continues to thrive and is a great girl.


What holiday plans have you this summer?


Love from all to both


Yours affectionately