July 10 1946
My dearest Miss Tomkinson,
I meant to say all sorts of things to you when I said goodbye – but ended up by being completely speechless. Tusmore farewells were altogether too much for me. I think my roots must have gone fairly deep in the three years. I felt very miserable indeed saying goodbye. But it is lovely to think that I will see a good many of you again.
I don’t have to tell you how very happy I was at Tusmore. It was a lovely chapter of my life, and one I shall never forget, and I am quite certain that the happiness of Tusmore depends on you. Just think of the hell that an unpleasant Commandant could make of a convalescent home, with rules and regulations etc. etc.!
I could go on for pages telling you of my happiness, and my love for Tusmore and all the things large and small that made it what it was for me. But I think you know how I feel.
I would like just to say thank you very much indeed for being so awfully kind and nice to me both as a Commandant and as a friend. I am very happy to be home. Everyone is very well(?), and it is lovely to be able to see them peacefully without feeling that I have to move off again in a few days. Although I still haven’t got used to the idea that I am not only on leave. The weather has been absolutely perfect. I played tennis yesterday at a party on a grass court for the first time for quite a while, it was quite fun, but everybody seemed to be horribly good! Binkie Patricia (?) and I went to see the finals of the men’s singles at Wimbledon when we were in London. I was absolutely thrilled, I’ve never seen really good tennis before.
We had a lovely three days in London – the first time we had all been together there. We went to a party and two shows – a last fling in England!
You will be very sorry to hear that poor Madge Pollock has died. I was horrified, as she was quite young too wasn’t she. Apparently she was very ill for a month or two, then died. Everyone was desperately upset. I haven’t seen the Hamiltons yet, but I expect Sibille (?) soon.
I am really awfully pleased about my Y.M.C.A. job. I think it is just the thing and will be interesting if not exciting and rather fun.
I wonder a lot how things are going at Tusmore, and look at the clock and think what you are all doing. I do hope all the new staff have turned up alright and all will be well. The men must be revelling in this lovely sun.
I expect to return to London in September, and I hope I shall have a chance of getting down to see you all.
Thank you again for being so sweet to me – and putting up with me for so long!
Lots of love,
P.S. I quite forgot to say that I have left my bicycle at Tusmore. I don’t know if you knew Lord Bicester gave it to me – so I asked him what he would like me to do with it, as I have got one over here, and he suggested that you gave it to someone deserving who had not got one. It is a lovely little bike and oughtn’t to be wasted. I thought perhaps if you could not think of anyone suitable to give it to, that it could be sold and the money used for some extra amusement or luxury for the men. I would rather like that.
The bicycle all-black Hercules safety model, and is in the potato house (Irvin (?) could show you which it is) I hope it won’t be a trouble but I didn’t know what to do.