Dearest of Mothers,
Your letter came in my trunk to-day and it was the first thing I noticed. Then I found the fruit and cake and altho' our meal was only an hour later I dug in to eat all I could but there was so much but there was so much and it has been so hot and dusty here that I thought it would not last or be clean so gave most of it away to my batman. That reminds me that I have not mentioned before that I have a personal servant as all officers have and they are called batmen. Mine does very well but might do better. He washes my hankys collars and shirts and sometime sox, but I just sent my first batch of laundry to-day. My but it is dirty out here and the weather so changeable (There goes first post 9.30 when all men and non commissioned Officers are supposed to be in their tents) but about the weather - up to three days ago we had hot hot weather then it rained very cold, then a sand storm with high wind so that when I got up yesterday A.M. the sand and grass was piled up an inch deep in my tent. Last night it turned cold with a big wind and my blankets fell off but instead of getting more cold it seems to have cured it.
It was awfully good of you all to send those things in my trunk, you can bet it will help a whole lot to have that stove in the morning and evening and the tea and coffee will help to wake me up or entertain my friends. The shirt you sent will do me beautifully as all my shirts were very heavy for hot weather and that blanket certain is welcome just now. I had about six others not nearly so good but as my mattress has not come yet tho all the other stuff bot at the same time came along o.k. so I think the H.B. Co is putting one over on me.
This morning I had lots of exercise before breakfast. Too cold to stay in bed I got up at 5:30 and went for a long walk. On return I found the transport men at exercises and joined in for a run of Â½ a mile and dropped out to join the other officers in physical drill and another run of a mile. Then breakfast and more exercise and another run of a mile. Then drill for two hours and dinner. Then a march drill and a grand state parade back to camp & thru to our own lines and the men did so well that I wanted to congratulate them all and the Col was ticked to death.
To-morrow I expect to start trench digging as a preliminary to taking a course known as Field Officers which is a qualification for Major and when I get that I hope to be given my majority which means a lot more pay. Really I do not know what is to be come of me yet. Some day you may see me as a Col or a General and the higher I get the more I will attribute it to dear Dad and your loved self. Dear Mother my one desire is and always has been to do things so as to justify your belief in me and if I do not come in to see you often remember that I am working hard for your sake.
I got a letter from Stell to-day which was awfully encouraging. Tell her that if I do not answer direct mail it will be because I am too busy to do so. But of course all my letters home are to the whole family of dearest people on earth. I am glad to hear that A.B. is going back to Stells it will help the kid a whole lot. Tell Edwin to be a gentleman but not a snob and try to encourage him to take things literally. The broadest minded fellow is always the fool. Remember me to Uncle Chos but I have always felt peaved at him for bringing such an ass as Gee Gee into the world. By the way Col Elliott the Camp Commander reminds me very much of Clarence but is I think much more of a gentleman. Col Elliott is also very much interested in our regiment.
Just now I feel that I am making a very good job of it as Company Commander but will have to do a whole lot of hard studying to keep ahead of the company work. We have a fine bunch of senior officers and Company Commanders but Col Kirkaldy reminds me of dad only more genial and approachable.
Now that Ethel is on her holidays I want you and her to come out here and see just how we are arranged you must come without fail some Saturday or Sunday so that I can take you around. Try to arrive about noon but let me know when you are coming so I can send you a pass.
Please phone Mr. Thos A Archison at C.P.R. to get from you my great coat, camera and any other military book there are at home. He can express the package free of charge and will be glad to do it as he is my 2nd in command. Also phone Wilf and tell him to send me the rubber top for my typewriter.
My coal oil stove is burning away her and is keeping me fine & warm and those sox will be all right for the present tho I will have to get heavier later.
One of the finest parts of this work is getting up at 5.30 and hearing about 50 bugles and drums beating and blowing reville. It makes you want to get up and see what is happening. Then shave and dress and go out for morning exercise class at 6.30 between 7 and 8 we have breakfast and I then have to hold a small court for trials and company business taking about half an hour. At 8.15 I inspect the companies tent and the men to see that they are clean and shaved. At 8.20 our markers are out and at 8.30 we are on parade. We then give the men physical exercise for an hour then 15 minutes rest and go on with drill till 11.45 when we break off for dinner. The company officers including me have to attend at Battalion court room for Â½ hour then wash and go to mess at 1.30. The company again parades and at 2 the Battalion marches off for field work at 3.45 we generally have a route march of about 7 or 8 miles finishing at camp near 5 o'clock. Then I have an hour and a half for company business and a wash generally a shower bath in cold water which makes me feel fine. At 6.30 we eat again lasting with much formality till 7.30. Last week I was conducting a class on N.C.O's but the Battalion has started one so that I have no further bother there. But this is ok starting tomorrow night I shall be attending at Field Officers class starting at 8:45 to 11 PM.
In addition to this I am supposed to give lectures to the men and N.C.O's and to learn to ride as well as look after the mens health.
Remember I am not complaining but like the work & would rather be busy than be a recruit and have nothing to do.
Please collect and send me bills for those things which you had to buy and I will send a cheque for them.
Recently I was in quite a nice up. You will remember I told you in my last that I had no second in Command of D. Company but shortly afterward Mr. Acheson I mentioned who was then in "C" Company was with my consent appointed to "D" Company by Col Mitchell. Then Col M & Acheson went to Wpg and orders came out appointing Capt Michaels of the [?] Gerry horse as my second while Acheson was not mentioned except as still in command of "C" Company - Michaels reported for duty the day after Col. M. Aft altho he had been in camp over a week waiting till Col. M left but to-day orders came out giving me all I had asked for and absolutely overlooking Michaels which removes a thorn from my side as I was afraid of Michaels interfering with some men who were supposed to be recruited by him and I was afraid he would show them some small favoritism. I know that the last order was coming and showed my satisfaction at the news and when questioned explained as above and sure enough this morning before I had seen camp orders or knew that he was no longer attached. My orderly room corporal came to complain about Michaels showing favoritism before he had been on the job three days.
Well dearest Mother it is eleven oclock and I am tired so I'll kiss you good night and pray that God may keep you well until I return to you for good.
Your Loving Son