Thursday 11 AM
Your letter of September 5th from St Francis has just come back from France. I expect you had not received my cable by that time and I hope you did not until you got back to Winnipeg for it would only unnecessarily spoil your holiday even tho the place was not very exciting. last year when I was home you'll remember my trip to Duluth. On my return journey the train was wrecked west of Fort Francis. I slept thru the whole affair. In the morning we were pulled back into the town and stayed there until after lunch. At the time I did not know the Erskines had moved there. We had a visit to the paper mills but could not get into the pulp mills.
I have not heard from Wes for some time, nor did I hear that he is engaged. The last time he wrote he was going on a special musketry course with the idea of becoming an instructor at the reserve.
Your news of Spray is very interesting. Someone once said that it was rumoured she was using cocaine.
Fortunately for me I shall not need your white sox for a while again and I expect you wont mind that. Will you?
There isn't much news here except that everyone is looking forward to
an early peace in which I fear they are to be disappointed. In the meantime the U.S. are getting deeper & deeper into the war and the Br & French keep on smacking the Hun in the eye week after week which all helps him to give up the sooner.
George Holman and Bruce Mc T were in to see me yesterday. George has been on two weeks leave & goes down to Shorncliffe today to see Mrs McTavish & Mrs Seummers. He returns to France tomorrow. He tells me that in the last ten days fighting or since Sept 27th the Canadians have had 36000 casualties and still they come. Northwood who took command of "B" Coy and Kilboru who was O.C. D Coy after I was hit were both killed. Capt Hawkins and Capt Spragg the other two Coy Commanders were badly wounded Spragg will probably loose his leg and may even die. Hawkins wrote Mjr McEwen who is now in England saying he was not severely wounded but I hardly believe him.
The Brigadier was wounded & from or for sundry reasons the old man is now acting Brigadier. Gee wont his head be swelled up. But wait till the Brigadier gets back - if any of the officers who have applied to him are left alive & unwounded the old man is in for a hot time of it. No less than six officers have complained of his treatment of them and George is applying for a transfer. Methinks the old man's downfall is in sight. George is in line for his Majority now I suppose unless that fool Scruton is brot back by the C.O and given it. If he does George out to shoot the old man full of lead & leave him for the buzzards.
So far I haven't had the courage to write Leo Hesson's sisters. I was not very far away at the time he was killed but thot our usual luck had held and that no one had been hurt. I was at the rear of B Coy keeping them closed up and Leo's Company was only about 150 yards behind me. Usually they drop bombs in a series of four or five but that time it was only one. But that was more than enough. C Coy & the Drummers lost altogether 75 killed & wounded. Only four drummers were left out of twenty. Naturally I did not go back so did not see any of what had happened. Neither Leo nor Harry McKenzie knew what had happened.
Mrs. Seummeus wrote me a very nice letter received on Tuesday and Mrs Dock (WSBs sister) sent me a roast chicken the last of which I consumed last night.
Steve's first letter written since I was wounded came on Monday. she told me that Ham Graham had been killed and that Bob Mulligan had died. I had written to Ham when I came over here from France but of course got no answer and was about to write again. I shall write now to the War Office for particulars and will send on their reply - tho I doubt if they have much information to give. There are so many casualties now that there will be few if any left in a regiment from whom news can be gotten especially some two months after it occurred.
As for myself - the Doctor said this morning when the inspection was on that there is still considerable fluid in my lung but it is drying up nicely but takes a long time. My temperature still keeps dodging about but causes me no inconvenience except that the matron won't let me take a bath.
My kit has arrived from France & should come to the Hospital tomorrow. After that arrives they may let me get up & wander about the Hospital. I hate to think of buying a new overcoat and rain coat and shall not till I have to.
Give my love to the ladies.