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Date: January 9th 1916

From: Kingston, Ont.
212 Stuart St.,
9 Jan. 1916

Dear Mother -

We were in lots of time for that train after all. I was at the station 10 min. before it was due to arrive and the train was nearly 15 min. late.

I took that paper to the Bank on Saturday and had it entered in my book.

The Field Hospital fellows will leave here for Cairo about the last of this month. Those in Medicine who join will be given their year and maybe some of them from Arts. Of course, I couldn't think of joining it, now that it is leaving so soon because, of course, it would mean I would have to give up my year. I believe there are a few more from our year joining it. There will be a lot of Arts '17 fellows over there then.

The Battery are still recruiting men to bring it up to 200 strong. Those that join now, join as gunners just the same. The idea of joining the Battery appealed to me very strongly and I have always felt I would rather join it than the hospital bunch. I finally decided I would join the Battery.

I went to the barracks to join on Thursday afternoon and was told to come around next morning, I did so. There was another fellow - a freshman in Science there too and he joined when I did. A doctor came over in the forenoon and I passed the medical examination quite easily. In fact, there wasn't much of an examination to it. I guess they are far less strict in that than they were at first. After that, we went down to a lawyer's office and were sworn in.

After that, we came back to the barracks and were given most of our stuff. I have two pairs of trousers (one, a rough pair for fatigue work), the other is part of the uniform and is worn to parades or to college or on Sundays; a tunic; a greatcoat; two pair of boots; a pair of puttees; two pairs of socks; two towels; a sweatercoat; a razor; a comb; and a sort of toque. There is still coming to me - some shirts, underwear, toothbrush, etc. In the afternoon, I got three blankets. The barracks is full now and they are putting some of them in top of Nichol Hall at the University. I have to sleep there at nights. It is a very good place to sleep. I had to have my uniform fixed a little and was able to put it on Saturday at noon. We marched in a body to Convocation this morning to hear the preacher. This is what they call Church Parade. It is the only drilling or anything done on Sunday. Mills Johnson joined just a little while ago and Douglas Mallory is in it. There are a great many fellows in the battery that I know.

I have been thinking of joining for a long time but kept putting it off, partly because I never could get up enough nerve to do so. Now, that I have taken the step, I am not sorry.

This was a hard letter to write and you must try not to take it too hard. I will be in Kingston for quite a long time yet and you mustn't think of what may happen. I may be glad I joined when I did because they are making such strenuous efforts to get volunteers. There is a form of conscription in England now. Sir S. Hughes says he will have 500,000 men enlisted by next fall. I hardly see how he will unless they have some sort of compulsion. Well, goodbye for now, and don't worry about me. I am getting along fine.


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