Some Place Belgium
Oct 17 1915
My Dear Mother,
I was so glad to get your letter, also Father's and Emily's, and to know that you were having such a good time in Toronto. I wish you could have gone out to Wpg. as I know they are very much disappointed, but I hope you had a good time in Toronto. Sorry Father could not have stayed longer in Toronto, as he could enjoy the auto rides too.
Well Mother, it is just one month to-day since we left Folkestone. I am glad you received cable O.K. and did not have to worry. I had quite a time to get it off. Had to use bribery and corruption. It seems much more than a month since we landed. We have been busy though, and it is just when I look over the last month, and recall some of my experiences, that the time seems long. Really I am quite happy, and have everything I could wish for, almost. I would like a drink of Mt. Forest water, but I will get that when I get home. And I am feeling so well, never felt better in my life. I sleep well, eat well, and I believe look well. I am sorry those photos were such a failure. The fool should have told me to take my cap off my eyes. I didn't know how I looked. However I had on my new suit. How do you like it? That is the most important thing as you had one of me before I left.
Things have been pretty lively about here lately. You have read about it in the papers. Oh, by the way, I know Major Beattie quite well. He is living in our village now, just across the street from my office. If you read 'Rep' Sept 9th, I think it is, where he writes to Mrs Fred Campbell, you will have a pretty good idea where we are. Not far from there, walking distance. Get me, 'nuff said. And don't tell anyone I told you either.
We are still very busy here. I believe we are needed and doing some good. The men certainly need dental attention in the trenches, and are absolutely helpless unless they get it. It is very encouraging to have the O. C. s come in and tell us that we are doing good work for the men, and officers as well. The hard tack certainly plays havoc with teeth and gums. I am having the best to eat that money can buy, you can depend on that. As long as it is at all obtainable I will get it, so don't worry about me on that score.
The Belgians are not such bad people after all, at least some of them are not. Where we live they try to do everything they can for us. But if I ever see those creatures out in the country, where I was forced to stay for a week, I shall flee the country. Of course they are all filthy dirty, no getting around that. Their sanitary conditions are absolutely rotten, but I am rather used to that now, and I overlook a lot of things that at one time would give me the creeps. There is really no news, but I am writing, if it is just a note, as Father says.
I am glad Alf has started to Vic[toria College] at last, and doubly glad that he is at Burwash Hall. It will be the making of him I think. I might add that I am ruined so far as looking after myself is concerned. My servant is too good to me. He does everything for me, before I can think of it. He used to valet for Lord Wentworth, and is sure on his job. He takes out my underwear, tells me when to take a bath, buys fruit, waits on me at table, and spoils me generally. However I will be able to get along with[out] a batman when I get home, and will even be willing to clean my own shoes, and yours too, if you like.
It is 8.30 pm now and my bedtime. The mail will be in now any minute, that is if there is any, doubtful, then I will hike right off.
Lots of love for Father, Emily and your own dear self.
P. S. Kindest regards to Elizabeth.
W. H. G.