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ANNIVERSARY OF THE ALMA.

159

a dinner party organised in each hospital : that at the lower consisted of the non-commissioned officers, at the upper

the sergeants and orderlies in charge—for this latter plenty of plum-puddings were made in the extra-kitchen, for we liked to do anything to encourage the orderlies.

When they were about to sit down the reverend Mother spoke to them and begged them to observe temperance and not disgrace themselves. They promised faithfully they would, and when she had retired they drank her health, with the toast, “Long may she reign over us,” and every man of the party went to bed sober. They were very much pleased with themselves next morning when they found not one was in the guard-room, while at the Barrack Hospitals there were dozens there. :

At the Barrack Hospitals we gave our orderlies plum-puddings, but as they were not invited to the non-commissioned officers dinner they had them for supper,

and 160

A THIRSTY ORDERLY.

enjoyed them very much; but, alas, they did not keep in such good order as their comrades on the hill. Some of the ladies wishing, with perhaps rather more kindness than wisdom, to treat their orderlies on this occasion, gave them a little money, charging them not to drink more than they ought; they promised to remember this, and many kept the promise, but there were

a few exceptions.

In No. 3 Upper was an orderly who was always too much inclined to drink; in all other respects he was very valuable, being extremely kind to the patients and attentive to orders. Sister MA- — had charge of his ward—when she came next morning to her ward he was missing-she inquired again and again for W-wanting him to fetch the extras and attend to various other matters, but no one would tell her where her orderly was; there was evidently some mystery connected with him, and at last she

AN AMUSING INCIDENT.

161

very gently but decidedly insisted upon knowing it.

" Where is W-?" said she, “I want him particularly and cannot wait any longer.”

Well, if you please, Sister, he's on the shelf in the linen-press."

She went to the cupboard, and there sure enough he was fast asleep on one of the shelves, where his comrades had laid him, hoping to shield him from punishment. It was so utterly absurd that she had difficulty in looking grave, and thought it best to let the matter pass; but the ladies, on being told of the circumstance, took care not to treat their orderlies in the same way again.

VOL. II.

M

158

ONE SIGH FOR THE MOURNERS.

We could not help thinking, however, as we stood listening to the sounds of rejoicing at the glorious victory, of the many aching hearts the news of it would cause in England. Alas! with what sickening suspense would many and many a mother, sister, wife, and friend watch for the coming lists of killed and wounded, and sadly how to many of them would the fall of the great Sebastopol be the death-blow of their earthly happiness! True, their loved ones had died a glorious death in the flush of honour and victory, but death, whether on the battlefield or in the silent chamber, is still death, and, as we watched the brilliant illuminations that evening on the shores of the Bosphorus, and listened to the repeated hurrahs, we sorrowfully remembered those who would weep to-morrow in England.

The 20th of September was the anniversary of the Alma. The soldiers were anxious to keep the day with honour, and there was

ANNIVERSARY OF THE ALMA.

159

a dinner party organised in each hospital : that at the lower consisted of the non-commissioned officers, at the upper the sergeants and orderlies in charge—for this latter plenty of plum-puddings were made in the extra-kitchen, for we liked to do anything to encourage the orderlies.

When they were about to sit down the reverend Mother spoke to them and begged them to observe temperance and not disgrace themselves. They promised faithfully they would, and when she had retired they drank her health, with the toast, "Long may she reign over us," and every man of the party went to bed sober. They were very much pleased with themselves next morning when they found not one was in the guard-room, while at the Barrack Hospitals there were dozens there.

At the Barrack Hospitals we gave our orderlies plum-puddings, but as they were not invited to the non-commissioned officers' dinner they had them for supper, and

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