Internees “often express the wish to be able to fall asleep and not to be awakened until it is time to be released”

The Cusden brothers, interned in Germany, were grateful to family and friends back home in Reading for sending them food parcels.

Dec 1st 1916
Dear Lucy

Since last wrote are very much obliged for parcels up to C. With exception of jam everything has been coming in perfect condition and all has been much appreciated.

Unfortunately the jam tins have often leaked, usually at lid. The parcels take two or three weeks on the way so unless lids are quite tight liquids find their way into rest of parcel. Carr’s biscuit tins were I think the worst. They were this shape [small sketch of oblong] and lids did not fit at all. Usually the juice escaped leaving the solid. Some of the other tins were allright. I know you have a lot of bother in packing anything like this, but it is better to let you know exactly how the things come.

Was pleased to note that the batch of drawings arrived safely. Apparently you did not recognise the self-portrait which was sent, as you don’t mention it, but it was a very good portrait of me. I don’t know if I have changed much since you last saw me.

On other side is [a sketch of] a rough idea of an early morning scene. Waking the sleepy ones up for the morning line-up in order to be counted. Some persons always find it so difficult to get up, they don’t see the use of it! Persons often express the wish to be able to fall asleep and not to be awakened until it is time to be released, however near or distant that may be. Perhaps it won’t be so long after all.

Father asks if I would like a little drawing paper sent. I should not mind a little, I can obtain some here, but it is rather dear. A little middling stuff and some cheaper sort just for rough practice. Many thanks for same. Swiss bread still coming. I presume that under new system you will not need to send at all. As a matter of fact supplies of bread have been coming into the camp for several weeks past, so in any case you need not send any more to us now….

Vic’s leg is practically quite well, and we are still keeping reasonably well.

With love to all
Your affectionate brother

Letter from Albert Cusden in Ruhleben to his sister Lucy Cusden, 57 Castle Street, Reading (D/EX1485/4/4/4)

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