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Source 5: Recovery in Bombay, July 1916

The image shows the hospital ship, the 'Devanha'. National Records of Scotland reference: GD486/187Douglas was shipped from Basra to India to complete his recovery. The tone of this letter to his mother reflects his changing moods.

Print an image and transcript of the document below as a Word document (Rich Text Format, 2.78MB, new window).

View the timeline for an outline of John Douglas Hume's life.

John Douglas Hume's drawings of foreign insects. National Records of Scotland reference: GD486/107Douglas's drawings of foreign insects (National Records of Scotland reference: GD486/107).

Letter from John Douglas Hume to his mother whilst recovering from Jaundice in hospital in India. National Records of Scotland reference: GD486/111


Colaba Hospital
July 5th 1916

Dear Mother
Here I am sitting on the veranda (3rd storey) looking
out over green trees & red tiled Hospital buildings to the sea,
which stretches away to the West & which I hope to cross sometime
soon, though the exact date is not yet fixed. Nobody here is
in any hurry: so when I feel a little stronger I shall have to
get busy pulling strings. The jaundice is quite gone
now though my face & neck are still a horrid colour – dirty
yellowish brown. We had a glorious voyage here in
[His Majesty’s Hospital Ship] “Devanha”, a P&O boat. Such a comfort to get
ice & full sized baths again. I enjoyed it thoroughly
& felt quite well but have had some sort of a relapse
since & am now pretty weak. However I got as far as the
town yesterday and did a little shopping.

My eyesight is a bit strained & I daren’t read much
on account of violent headaches so am rather at a
loose end. I think I shall wait till I get home to
get tested & the expert here has gone to Mesopot

The all-pervading green is a great feature of the scenery
here & very restful. The damp salt sea breezes are
delightful, but although people here are rather complaining
of the heat, I being now a thin-blooded Mesopotamian
feel it a bit chilly at times. The mail does not go till
Saturday so I shall leave this letter open till then & add
any news that may come along in the meantime.

Very much love to all

No farther news. They are going to test my blood today.
I expect they’ll find it full of all sorts of bugs they’ve never seen
before. It’s the usual thing in Mesopotamia.
'There are more bugs in Mesopot Horatio
Than are dreamt of in bacteriology etc etc etc.

Much Love

(National Records of Scotland reference: GD486/111)




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