from Helen McClure
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Helen McClure was a close family friend - of either Mary Ann Bell or Betsy Armstrong - in Melbourne. She called herself Aunt Helen.


1.Letter to Annie Bell

Sunday, 28.5.16

Dearest Annie,

Thanks many for your P.C. and letter. You are always near me. My thoughts during the day so often wonder and fancy what you may be doing. Always good and helpful things I'm sure. Very tired of it all at times. wishing with every aching heart it was over and that at least you had arrived at your well-earned rest in your "ain countrie". So do I dearie with very full heart for you are more to me and I miss you more than I ever thought possible. Our dear Dr. prayed so earnestly and fervently for the nurses and  Drs. who were giving their very best for our brave boys. It was all through a soul stirring service. Three spoke to me on my way to the train of the wonderful sermon t. His prayers are to me big comforts.
A very cold frosty morning but we had a good congregation. Mr. Grey preached last Sunday morning being Moderator. 
Elsie came for a few minutes to see me. They were all up. She was the only one I saw.
My Norman has gone two weeks ago. We don't know to where. His poor Mother stayed with me the day he left as he did not wish her to see him off. He is an only son and she is a widow. Sgt. N.J. McClure, if he falls into your hands, he'll be right for he is very precious and dear to me.
I often think of Bert's picture of you in the nightwatches. It made a great impression. Victor Walker-Young's brother has been in camp some time. The men who have been leaving lately compare splendidly with any who went before.
How is your special friend- have you heard lately? I often wonder. My writing is simply a disgrace. I can't help it for it. I read a very little, and I manage so nicely my knitting. Norman Marshall who went out a private is now Captain with distinction. He is in France, but I don't think they know where Louis the youngest boy is. 
Oh my dear girl, how I long to see you. Hard times as you are passing through. It's grand privilege and will I'm sure bring you splendid harvest in after years. I find the thought often with me, shall I live to see her. If not here, for a surety in the New Life.
Ever and always,
Your Loving Aunt Helen
Elsie - nursing friend of Annie's
Norman McClure- nephew of Helen McClure - died in France. Lucy McClure, his mother, lived at Brighton.



2. End of a long letter to Annie Bell in Egypt or France, April 25, 1916 or 1917
Somehow lately I've no been feeling very well - I wonder shall you see Norman McClure No 1690-59th Battalion. Then there is Stan Kirwood who has been in France since leaving Gallipoli 925-5th Battalion. I'm looking over the list of the fallen. It's doubly sad to see the death of a gallant soldier who has been in it from the first. At least so I feel it. 
Darling, forgive this miserable excuse for a letter. I was intending going to Church this morning as S.C. is holding its Anzac am. today, but I could not manage it.
Goodbye. God be with you now and always.
Ever your
Aunt Helen
S.C. - Scots Cathedral