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Letter to fiancée, Annie Bell, from the Melbourne "Eye and Ear" Hospital

"Eye & Ear"


My dearest,

Last night I said I would take tonight completely off just to dream of you, in the present, in the past and in the future. But at the time, I had the notion that today was the last day of the year, and so I have postponed my devotional evening until tomorrow. Today has been warm though not unpleasantly so, and tonight is just one of those nights when I should like to be able to go for a good walk with you - if you were tireless I would walk all night with you. But I shall just have to walk with you mentally and look at your photo watching me from its little across the room - it is the photo that got stained with sea-water, but the staining is so regular that the effect has been to make the light parts a cream-colour instead of a white.

A few days ago,  long letter from Jackson followed me home. It was dated 14th June, and gave me information about the state of my mother's health. He also urged me to send Dick to the C.E. Grammar school in Brisbane and gave in an interesting way what he considered should be aimed at in sending a boy to a good school. He insists that it is impossible at present to get a school of the highest type where a certain amount of orthodox religion is not taught. Jackson is one of  the pillars of the C.E. in Brisbane, but privately I know that his views do not differ very greatly from my own. But he is more compromising and besides his own sons have been brought up as orthodox Anglicans - and that makes a difference. I have answered his letter tonight and told him that I am always prepared to send Dick to a C.E. Grammar School, provided the headmaster will meet me reasonably in my wish that Dick should not be taught to act a part in anything so sacred as religion.

This evening another patient ( a little girl this time) came in after getting hit by a "Daisy" air rifle in the eye. A boy potted her "from across the street". I am going to ask the honoraries here if they cannot do anything to have children forbidden to use air rifles. This girl will have permanent interference with vision in one eye. 

I am beginning to get on my feet here a little, Anne. Can do refraction work with fair accuracy and begin to make something of the fundus of the eye with an ophthalmoscope. My position with the honoraries will soon be satisfactory, I think - it is almost so already.

It was a busy afternoon today and we did not finish up until nearly dinner time, so I had no time to get out, though I will do so tomorrow. Will now think about bed, and so my sweetheart goodnight, with a good hug and a kiss (or rather dozens of them.)


Notes:-  H.V. Foxton obtained the position at the "Eye and Ear" on his return from France. Dick is his son (about 8 years old) from his first marriage.