SL248/1/1/6 Letter to Mrs Greig, 86 Grange Loan, Edinburgh, Scotland (Ecosse) (transcriptions below letter images)
19th July 
My dear Mother
Please thank Father for his letter. I’m glad to hear you are all well. Thank you ever so much for the parcel which arrived after much delay. I was very glad to get it, but I don’t think it’s worth while sending parcels as I had 1 frank and 50 centimes duty to pay. If you could manage to send me some more camp-cocoa by letter post and also chocolate I shall be delighted, but send it by letter-post or I shall have to pay duty. As we are working for the French I do think it awful cheek of them to charge duty at all, don’t you? The honey was lovely but about half of it leaked out. We had a tea-party and ate most of the cake and shrimps. The remains McCall and I are eating at 10 a.m. every day. That’s when we have the cocoa and it’s very much nicer and more filling than tea and cabin biscuits.
There is absolutely no news here at all. I hope Hew got home for a few days. I haven’t heard from him for some time. Has he got promoted yet? I hear that Sidney Gillbee has got a commission now.
Last Wednesday we gave a little concert for the patients. I was the Japanese princess who wouldn’t smile and everyone tried to make me. There was a pierot Dance and song, dance of a doll and golliwog (the golliwog sat down with a bump and had to be wound up again), a reel (kilts and glengarries made out of imitation tartan bought here), dumb show of Cinderella and Blue-beard. He actually killed 5 wives on the stage one after the other. Smothered one, stabbed another, drowned the 3rd, poisoned the next, and strangled the last. As each one was murdered the head appeared hung up on the wall. It was awfully well done but, unfortunately, the heads became alive every now and again. Then we had a toy symphony, the musical instruments consisting of a drum, several combs covered with paper, lids of pots and babies rattles. In between each item my 10 ladies of state sang choruses and danced and once I had to dance a part of the tango with one of them. Last of all we had a tableau of the Allies for which I was responsible. I must say I was quite proud of it. In the centre was Britannia with John Bull behind mounted on a packing case. On the right was France, (Liberty with the cock on her head and the canon in her hand) then came Russia (a bear) with Japan (me) kneeling between. As they hadn’t a Japanese flag I borrowed a Red X one and pinned on a sun and rays cut out of red paper. It was most effective. On the left was Belgium (a red lion), Serbia (a peasant woman) with Italy (also a peasant girl) kneeling between. Montenegro (a peasant man) lay full length in front of Britannia. I’ll try and draw it—–
As the lion’s head and the cock were drawn by one of my patients, I feel extremely proud, especially as everyone laughed at me when I suggested having that kind of tableau. However, they all agreed that it looked fine. I made Britannia’s helmet out of some tin and we borrowed the gardener’s prongs, covered with silver paper, for the trident. We took a photo but I don’t know if it’s any good yet. I’m sending you 2 other photos, a group of the doctors and sisters (Mrs Harley invited herself, and then sat down in the very middle) and one of the chateau.
No more news now so I’ll stop. Please hand on the news to all the Aunties and give them all my love. Lots of love to Father, the kids, and yourself
Your loving daughter
This is the final letter from Annie, and like Hew she survived the War. What we know of her is that she trained as a nurse and according to surviving records she served as a sister for the British Contingent of the French Red Cross from November 1911 through to October 1915. After her time in France she returned to the British Red Cross as a Sister (she was not a member of the Voluntary Aid Detachment) in May 1916. She worked at hospitals in Bradford-on-Avon and then the VAD hospital in West Bridgford. She left the Red Cross in March 1919. Like Hew she gained wartime medals – the British War medal and the Victory medal. We cannot find any marriage record for Annie but we are sure she lived to the grand age of 93, dying in 1978 in England.