22 November 1914

It is Sunday, and presumably a quiet time at Sussex Lodge Hospital, so George Calderon writes to the Sturge Moore children:

Dear Riettte and Dan,

Thanks for your interesting letters — and to Mrs Moore too. I hope to be home in a day or two; my foot is nearly well and no longer hurts.

I have a Scotchman and a Belgian in the beds next to me. The Belgian can talk Flemish, Walloon and French. He had a friend in the army; another major. They lived next door to each other in Brussels. They lost sight of each other; they were wounded the same day in different parts of the field of battle; and by mere chance, were brought over by the same boat and train, and put in the same room in the same hospital. One has gone now, and one remains, spelling out the Daily Mail with the help of a dictionary.

We have a splendid pianola in the next room, which plays pieces exactly as Paderewski and other great pianists have played them. It works by electricity. We only press a button and listen.

Field Marshal Calderon

Riette (Henriette Hélène Rebecca) Sturge Moore was born on 17 June 1907 and died on 26 September 1995. She became a theatre designer, teacher, and interior decorator.

Daniel Sturge Moore was born in 1905, had a daughter Charmian, and that is unfortunately all I know of him.

‘Mrs Moore’ was née Marie Appia and related to the theatrical innovator Adolphe Appia. She was a cousin of Thomas Sturge Moore, whom she married in 1903.

‘Paderewski’ is Ignacy Jan Paderewski (1860-1941), pianist, composer, and subsequently prime minister of Poland.

This letter is published by kind permission of Historic Collections, Senate House Library, University of London. It is item MS978/1/2/11 in the Thomas Sturge Moore Papers.

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About Patrick Miles

I am a writer who specialises in Anton Chekhov and is writing a biography of George Calderon.
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