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Patricia Tuckett
Canadian Nurse in the Mediterranean, 1915

"They were all in that big engagement at Gallipol last Monday. I have charge of 25 tents with 8 patients in a tent so you can imagine how busy I am...." PATT, an Army Nurse in the Mediterannean Sept. 1915


My Dear --

Just a hurried line to tell you how glad I was to get your lengthy epistle that has been the first one I have received from you since I left home. I had not had Canadian mail since I left England, an was surely glad to get your letters. Our life now consists of work, and incidentally, eat and sleep. We have had two innings recently. They were all in that big engagement at Gallipoli last Monday. I have charge of 25 tents with 8 patients in a tent so you can imagine how busy I am. The patients never groan and they will stand any operation nearly even without an anaesthtic. Of course they have the best medical officers that can be had.

The patients have the most interesting tales to tell bur really sometimes I do not want to listen. I think of them all when I go to sleep. We have a mattress on a board to sleep and even if I did not have the mattress I could sleep well. My candle has blown out twice since I started to write this and this stand is rather shaky. Of course you understand the censor will not allow very much to be told so I have no idea how much is crossed out.

I received a St. Marys Journal [local newspaper from small town in Ontario] from you which I was glad to see. It was opened when it came and and I thought perhaps there had been another one with it. The natives here have just finished their Christmas season, called the Ramadon. The mosque is near our camp and I can see the Muezzin go up in the tower and chant his prayers to Mecca. They fast in this season from sunrise till sunset. The Muezzin goes up in the tower and lowers a flag when he sees the sun drop into the sea as it were and on the level a man at the gun fires it off when he sees the flag go down and you can hear all the children cheering and screaming because they all go to eat. They pray anywhere and at any time. They drop on the streets and turn to Mecca and pray for about 20 minutes.

I think I will soon be like the Mohamed women. They cover their faces up. My face is all tanned and bitten with insects so it needs to be covered.

The Arab children are the queerest [oddest]. The go floating around on little donkeys. All the male children wear night shirts on the street and you cannot distinguish between boys and girls. you surely would be amused at the shops and the street cafes. They are very amusing. We went to the quay [dock] in the motor ambulance last night and on one street conrer the band was playing "You Make We Love You" and a fearful creature was singing it in French. There is a great deal of French here. I will hardly know Canadian money when I see it. We are dealing now in piastres and milems, Egyptian money.

I would surely love to see a Canadian, but I suppose it will be a long time. All the patients here are from British Isles, Australia and new Zealand. They all say that I talk like a "Yankee" and I am sure they have never heard an American speak. Of course I cannot change my accent. I suppose you have hared that English expression "Swankey" I should say you were "swankey", of course Right Oh! and Cheer Oh! are very prevalent. When I tell an orderly to do anything he always says "Right Oh!".

Well my dear I must go to my slab and sleep. Give my best love to all the family. Letters are my only thing to live for now so write often.
Love,
PATT

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St. Marys Journal Newspaper, St Marys Ontario

Note from Lorine: I was so intrigued by PATT's letters that I had to find her. A search of the online CEF database was difficult as I had nothing to go on but her signature "PATT" (all caps). I tried several searches using wildcards and found nothing. Then I decided that her first name was probably "P...." - Patricia? Phyllis? Pearl? There didn't seem to be too many P names for women so I started hunting - BINGO!

Patricia Tuckett now has a full name and I intend to search for more information on her

Names: TUCKETT , PATRICIA (PATT)
Rank: NS
Reference: RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 9812 - 5

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