|McIlrath, Emily A to McIlrath, Mary (Minnie), 1914
|The McIlrath Letters_A family history in letters from New Zealand to Ireland (1860-1915) [Bassett, McKee et al.]
|McIlrath, Emily A
|Springfield, New Zealand
|Killinchy, Co. Down, Northern Ireland
|McIlrath, Mary (Minnie)
|Xmas, wedding, war, weather
27th December 1914
My Dear Cousin
I was very pleased to receive your letter and Xmas card with all good
wishes, and I must say we all appreciated them very much, coming
so far. Christmas is over once again, and we had a good time as we
had several visitors. We also had a good time on Boxing Day. The
weather was fine so we all went for a picnic. On the 22nd Dec. (last
Tuesday) my brother Hamilton (Hammie) got married to Miss Milly
(Gussie) Wright. I was the only Bridesmaid, as the wedding was a
very quiet one. Very few outside the Wright family and our own were
present. When they return from their honeymoon, they will be living three miles from here.
Isn't the war terrible? There seems no possibility of
an end to it for long enough yet. So far none of my
brothers have gone to the front, and we do not want
them to go either.
A contingent of New Zealanders numbering 18,000
are at present in Egypt preparing to go to the front any
day now. New Zealand is also sending reinforcements. Hundreds are
in camp now ready to go. I know such a lot of young fellows that have
gone, but I don't think half of them realise what they are going to. I
was surprised when I read of the English Coast being bombarded.
Before our contingent left for Egypt there were three or four German
ships cruising round within a few miles of our shores, evidently
waiting for our men to leave, and to blow them up. At the commencement of the war I took round a subscription list, and the other girls took one each, and in a week we collected £105 from women only, as a list was going around the farmers at the same time for produce or money. There have been no end of lists going round, and it is marvellous how well and willingly most people give.
There are some people I know very well off indeed, that won't give
anything. There should be a war tax and then all would have to give.
Altho' this is summer time we still have fires, and still have to wear
our winter clothes, as the weather is so changeable and cold especially
in the evenings. We had a very late frost about a month ago which
took every bit of fruit we had, both small and big.
What kind of a winter are you having? Pretty cold I expect. I don't
like the cold weather at all. How are Uncle & Auntie? I hope both
have good health. We are all well.
Wishing you all a very happy and peaceful 1915, I must conclude
with love to you all
Your affect. Coz. Emily Mcllrath