9 Pembroke Road
June 14, 1916
Dear Miss Shorthouse.
Will you and your family accept my sincere sympathy in the loss of your brother who was a patient in our Breeze Hill Hospital. I had the pleasure of attending to him and the other patients in Jan. and the best part of Feb. as night nurse-in-charge and he often spoke of his home folk. If your brother spoke much of us and mentioned us by name mine would be “Mother” or “Ye Olde Night Nurse” as I called them all children.
A wee bundle of cigs, a parcel containing a shirt, pr. of socks and a few cigs. I think would arrive too late for your brother in France. My brother says the above would be handed over to someone who would need them and not be returned to the sender. The letter has not been returned to me but perhaps you will have received it.
This is a dreadful war and I like others, wish it were over. My brother has been on Home and Active Service and is a time-expired man, also has had a spell of hospital life in France. He will have to go again and close down his business, which is very hard after having served before.
Kindest wishes to you all in your trouble
“Ye olde nighte nurse.”
Letter of condolence, James Williams 1916
18 Balfour Street
Houghton le Spring
June 14, 1916
Dear Mr & Mrs Shorthouse.
We did not know till yesterday, I called at Bradley Terrace and Mary Jane had an account out of a paper of your dear sons death in France, on behalf of all of us, we would extend our deep sympathy to you all. I was travelling in the train to Sunderland on Friday morning last, when I happened to see his photograph in the Illustrated Chronicle, I knew his face quite well. You will feel if you could have only done something to help him in his last days your hearts would not have been so sad, but while we mourn with you, we know the lads in France have cared for, helped and comforted each other, where it was possible at all to give help to each other, as you picture him in your minds, how many must have been the gallant deeds. The noble purposes which helped his king and country, he has given his life for others, may God of all comfort sustain you and keep you trusting still.
Mary Jane is keeping fairly well, we realize a big change in a short time, these partings are sad, Ernest is at Shoreham near Kent, we are pleased he is alright, and his letters are very bright, I think he will take no harm, he has not passed for foreign service. Fred is still off work, after he went home to North Shields, he was ordered to bed for 14 days, then his bed clothes were taken away and his room stoved out, so it must have been scarlet fever, he is out again now, and improving.
We have had a busy time since we came home, Jenny was at fathers a long time and she is now preparing for spring cleaning. I have got off the Army until August 1st but we all hope by then peace will be near.
Accept these few lines, hoping Mr Shorthouse is better again, we felt compelled to write you, it was so kind of you to remember us in our recent trouble.
Letter from J. T. Hunter 1916
July 12th, 1916
We are very sorry indeed to see in the newspaper an account of your son Joe’s death whilst on active service. It would appear as if he had been ill and in hospital. At any rate, I felt that I would like to send you a line to say that we sympathised with you in your great loss.
The war is bringing sorrow to many a home and I am afraid that many will receive bad news before it is finished.
It is a blessed consolation that under the painful circumstances we are not left without the presence of the Comforter, who comes very near to us in these dark days of our life, and grace to bear your cross.
I expect that my youngest brother John Arthur will now be in France. He was to go last night.
With kindest regards, and deep sympathy,