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Date: March 15th 1918

From: France
15 Mar. 1918

Dearest Mother -

It is eight days since last I wrote. Tomorrow is your birthday, is it now? In six more days, I shall have been in France for exactly one year. It doesn't seem like one year in some respects but yet we seem to get ahead so slowly. A big Canadian mail came in at last, last night - the first letters I have received since Feb. 22. Your next two letters came to hand safely - those of Feb. 3 & 10. One contained a note from Gladys and a snap of 16 Division. It was rather blurred but I could recognize the house, tho not the girl. I always like to get these little notes in your letter. The one from Arthur in your other was so nice. I am sorry he is not feeling well, but you have had an awful hard winter apparently. Here it has been the reverse - for some time now, the weather has been just glorious - each day bright and sunny, tho a little cool at nights. It reminds me somewhat of weather last May. There will likely be a change soon and a month of bad weather yet is not improbable.

Too bad Gladys is disappointed about her Easter exams, but I suppose it can't be helped. I was glad she was able to get away to a party at Fortune's. Mother dear, I think it is alright for her to want to go to them and for her to go to some of them if she can. You know Caintown is a rather dull place and she must find it monotonous at home with you & Arthur at school. Gladys enjoys herself at parties and such like, and I only wish she had a chance to go to more. She is not like Nina or Allie, you know, she was meant to be in a larger place - she is educated for it. With me, it is something I have missed. I don't care much about them, where nearly all the fellows one meet, do. I often am inclined to envy the fellow who is always at his ease when with other folks and who can be interesting - has an easy and ready conversational way. I am alright among the fellows here and am well liked by practically all, but on any sort of a formal occasion, I am not those. For instance, I would far rather be a gunner than an acting bombardier. I don't fancy my new responsibilities, but maybe it will do me good. No, I think Gladys should get out as much as possible - to good places of course.

As for J.S., she has taken a fancy to Gladys for herself of course. I write to her about once a month and she always answers right away. Maybe I had better write less often. Another of my letters was from Aunt Bertha - written on Feb. 13 and from it I learned that you had received another letter from me and knew that I had received your parcel. Your latest parcel tho, has not come yet. I am beginning to fear for it.

A fourth letter was from Florence Wilson who is now at Queen's. She wrote a very interesting letter telling of work at Queen's and giving news of some of the old Athens High School people. She also mentioned, by the way, that Edgar Sexton had enlisted in Royal Flying Corps at Strathroy. Edgar is one of many who waited until conscription was on, then jumped into the highest & best branch of the service. He will now have to train for some time before he gets his commission. He will come out of the war as a Flight Lieutenant or better where (unless I can do something) I will be only a junior N.C.O. or less and his position will then be better than mine.

I understand there is no use my applying at all until I have those certificates - one as to moral character from a minister & one as to education. Would it be too much trouble for you to try & get them? One from Rev. Mr. McLeod as having known me personally for the past ___ years, etc. and one from Prof. Matheson (he should remember & I think he would be best - tho I doubt if he remembers me) giving my educational standing (particularly Math & Physics, you see) and signed as head of Math. Dept. of Queens. If the other two were good, it would not be necessary, but Mr. Sexton would certify as to both my educational & moral qualifications, I think. He must be still at Strathroy. -And the fifth letter I received was from Eldred Lane of Kingston whom I met at Butternut Bay.

Even if I do get those certificates in a couple of month's time, I might not be able to pass the Major or General, so I wouldn't say too much about what I am thinking of doing. I am feeling real well - my health has been excellent. We are in a good place - understand? We have been working quite a bit but that only helps to keep a fellow fit. I hope you & Gladys & Arthur are all well. Do take good care of yourself. Best of love to all.
Yours affectionately,

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Original Scans