Here I am in Calcutta having received telegraphic instructions on Friday afternoon last (13th) to proceed immediately to Calcutta and mobilise and take command of No 21 British Field Hospital, which was to get ready for service in Sikkim. I packed up the same afternoon and a tremendous job it was too with all of my heavy kit and arrived here early next morning.
I found as usual there was no tremendous hurry as we shall not start from here probably before the end of the month, however one never knows and ever since arrival I have been busy getting tents, stores, and medical equipment for the hospital. I have hardly had time to think of my own clubbing and equipment I have almost got the hospital ready now and today pitched all of the tents and the stable - about 60 people altogether have all now nearly arrived.
I do not think there will be much medical work to do for some time as at this time of the year the passes to Tibet are impassable and we shall have to get as near as we can and then wait until we can advance. The PMO (Principal Medical Officer) tells me he especially selected me and thinks I ought to do very well. We are the only British hospital detailed as yet. I am the only medical officer but I have two assistant surgeons under me.
I am lucky enough to be living here with the Para regiment that I was living with at Barrackpore - this regiment also suddenly received orders to come in here but they are not going to Sikkim. I understand that it will be dreadfully cold and I shall want much the same equipment as Bertie had for China. I don't know how you had better address me: D 21 British Field Hospital Sikkim; I think will be the best. I hope that you are all well. Much love. I shall write whenever I can. But don't worry about me, as I am in the lap of luxury going with a hospital where I can obtain everything.
Your Affectionate Brother Cecil.
I shall probably write from here next week.