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This is one of a collection of letters of condolence upon the death in Hong Kong of "Tanty" Andrew Hugh Gilmore JACKSON, a nephew of Sir Thomas JACKSON.
Sharon Oddie Brown, September 3, 2006.

Dalcan British Iran Hospital

Kirkee,

India

8 November 1918

 

Dear Jackson [1]

I must apologize for not replying to your chit before long.  My only excuse is that when I received it I was in the throes of handing over and generally cleaning up prior to leaving for India, as I then hoped en route for Mespot or Palestine - & in the rush I frankly overlooked it.

 I’m afraid there is very little I can and to what I have already written your father [2] .  Tandy [3] was taken ill on the Sunday, the last one in December 1917.  He wouldn’t have a doctor at first, and they nursed him until the Wednesday with the assistance of his boy and mine, when his temperature going up I sent for Aubrey [4] .  Tandy wasn’t very bad then, only continually sick. As you probably know I had been living in the next room to him in the club for 15 months. On the Thursday I was in court when Aubrey sent me a chit that Tandy had to go to hospital, and I came out of Court, packed up for him, and took him up the Peak. 

He was fairly seedy for the next 14 days with a temperature, but we were not alarmed since it looked like a very mild case typhoid. His temperature then went down around normal, and the doctor said that, barring unforeseen accidents, he was out of all danger, though Aubrey always told me that he could never guarantee any typhoid case until it was out a hospital.

I saw Tandy during this period, but did not go out from the Monday to Thursday a week before he died, since other people want to see him, and the doctors reports were more than comforting. 

On the Thursday evening (just a week before he died) he started internal bleeding, one of the things I gather they dreaded in the cursed disease.

The doctors declined to let me see him on the Friday but let me up on the Saturday, largely I think to see whether I could buck him up a little.  I saw him on the Saturday, Sunday and Monday, but was not allowed in again. Frankly I can only say that Tandy from the Saturday had choked his hand in.  This is the only phrase which will describe it.

It is very easy to say that he should have made a fight of it, but you’ve got to remember that he had been on milk for some five weeks, with a temperature of good deal of the time, and I honestly think he was so weak and tired, that he didn’t much care what happened.

From what he said to me I’m clear he thought he had very little chance, but he didn’t appear at all dismayed at the thought.  Of course he was only allowed to talk very little, and my sole object was to endeavour to cheer him up, and get him to make a struggle for it.  So I wouldn’t admit the possibility of his dying.  From Monday on I understand he was practically unconscious the whole time until he died.

I don’t think anything more could have been done, and so far as I’m aware not the slightest blame can be laid at the door of that much abused spot the Peak Hospital.  In Aubrey I have the most absolute confidence.  It was just fate before which we must all bow, though it was a bitter waste of a valuable life, and the loss of my best friend in the East. 

If there’s anything further I can tell you please let me know. 

You must excuse his untidy scroll, but I am in dock at present just getting over a rather bad goal of tonsillitis and rheumatism and am still a bit shaky.

I’m read my last chance of seeing any scrapping has vanished.  I very nearly squeezed into a draft for Persia six weeks ago which is about the ultimate hope of fighting, at any rate in Asia, but they refuse me because I hadn’t shot my course in India.

Being a Tommy out here is far from cushy, but nonetheless has many things to be said for it, and is certainly an experience I would not miss.  I only regret is that I didn’t go home four years ago, though that was no fault of mine, but the damned Hong Kong Government.

Your father wrote me to hand you some personal effects of Tandy, (a watch signet ring etc.) when you come to Hong Kong.  These have been sealed up and are in my firm’s hands, from whom you can obtain them at any time, either personally or by letter.

With apologies for this delay to reply,

 yours sincerely

Archie Crew [5]



[1] David JACKSON (1884-1925) who was working for HSBC at Kobe at the time. His older brother “Tanty” Andrew Hugh Gilmore JACKSON (1881-1918) had died of typhoid in January of that year.

[2] Andrew Coulter Bradford JACKSON (1846-1929), younger brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON.

[3] “Tandy” Andrew Hugh Gilmore JACKSON (1881-1918)was a nephew of Sir Thomas JACKSON and a son of Andrew Coulter Bradford JACKSON & Eliza Emily GILMORE. He was born and raised at the family farms at Lions Den & Forstertown – both near Trim in Co. Meath, Ireland. At the time of his death, he was a broker with Messrs. Wright & Hornby –previously owned in part by James Francis WRIGHT, also a relation.

[4] Dr. AUBREY a doctor at the Peak Hospital in Hong Kong.

[5] Archie H. CREW a dear friend and solicitor.

 

 

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