One of Sidney's first letter home to his family was sent on the 4th May 1941 from No.7 General Hospital, Middle East Forces "Z".

Dear All,

I suppose by this time Amy will have received my first letter sent my this method and told you about it and I do hope that it is possible for them to be sent from England out here. First of all I must apologise for not writing to you for so long, although you will get this before you know that there has been a gap in my correspondence, but I will tell you quite frankly that I have not written to you for over three weeks, but as I have been on the move and only reached here about 10 days ago, since when I have been very very busy, you must excuse me. We have at last reached out destination and set up hospital and as you will know doubt have gathered from the past week's events we have been very busy in fact for the last 8 days I have not been to bed before midnight at all and on one night we worked right through and never went to bed at all, but I made up some sleep the following afternoon as I took my blankets and went out on to one of the headlands and found a quite sheltered corner and slept in the open. We have got an absolutely marvellous camp here we are right on the beach on a sort of headland with two glorious little bays on either side and as you will imagine I have done as much bathing as possible although I have not had much spare time since arriving. To make the scene perfect we are backed by a range of snow capped mountains rising to about 7,750 ft and one of these week-ends when things quieten down a bit I am going to do a lot of exploring. On my way here I ran in to two Skipton boys Rusty Fell form Earby with whom I used to go to the grammar school and who I know very well and Brian Hoe from Gargrave (he is the stationmaster's son) who I also knew but only by sight. It was a pleasant surprise to see them and we had many long "calls" together. I got a very pleasant surprise on Tuesday as there was a letter from Dad and also one from Barbara  written in February and as they were the first I had received from home, although I have had three from Amy, I was overjoyed. You must have written more as dad mentioned previous letters. I am especially glad to hear that dad is keeping a lot better and hope that that goes for the rest of you,  you must all take care of yourselves as I want to see you all safe and well when I return. I am keeping very fit and apart from being a little tired from this past weeks work all absolutely nothing. The rush will quieten down in a day or two I hope and then I will probably have a little spare time. I am also glad to hear that business is quite brisk and hope it keeps so. I hope mother is receiving my allotment o.k. I am surprised and pleased to hear that Allan is getting married. All my love. Your everloving son.


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