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The horrors of war threw into sharp relief the beauty of the gardens, the countryside, and the kindhearted people with whom Agnes worked. These pleasures claimed a prominent place in her letters. "It is strange," she wrote, "how one can laugh in spite of everything. I don't think we could live through it if it were not for the funny and foolish things that happen." Her kitten provided no end of amusement, chasing dogs and keeping Agnes company at night: "We call her 'Antoinette' after the aeroplane, for she makes a noise like the aeroplane when she sings."

From My Beloved Poilus

Photo courtesy of Carrie Special Collection http://vlib.iue.it/carrie/

"Nurse quarters for two"





At Christmas-time, Agnes and her team saw to it that


"The men had a wonderful Christmas day. They were like a happy lot of children. We decorated the wards with flags, holly, mistletoe, and paper flowers that the men made, and a tree in each ward. You cannot imagine how pretty they were. Each patient began the day with a sock that was hung to the foot of their bed by the night nurses. In each was an orange, a small bag of sweets, nuts and raisins, a handkerchief, pencil, tooth brush, pocket comb and a small toy that pleased them almost more than anything else, and which they at once passed on to their children. They had a fine dinner… We are all dead tired, for we worked like nailers for the past two weeks; but it was worth while, for we were able to make a great many people happy."

From My Beloved Poilus
Photo Courtesy of Carrie Special Collection http://vlib.iue.it/carrie/

"My salle, Christmas 1916"