36 R. Squadron
PER ARDUA AD ASTRA ROYAL FLYING CORPS,
April 1st 1917
My Dear Mother,
Believe me this is some climate. When I woke?up this morning the ground was quite white and the snow was coming down merrily. All day it has been falling in flurries until now there is about three inches of it. Of course the natives about here say it is very exceptional and put it down to the number of Canadians in the country. At any rate we have got it and it does remind one of home.
Yesterday was very nice indeed. I had a busy day in fact. All morning was taken up with a Court of Inquiry, which is not yet complete. In the afternoon it was very windy, and not many went up. However I had some work I wanted to finish up, so took to the air. I spent nearly all afternoon doing wireless, which I completed, and remainder until 6:30 taking photographs. I could not get higher than 3000 feet on account of clouds, so that it was rather difficult to get all the area I wanted. However I got all but one, so that I was very well pleased. I had quite a lively time of it, I can tell you. The wind was so bad that it took all my strength to hold the bus in shape. Then when I finally could concentrate on my focus and etc. the bus would be up on end and tearing down at about 100?110. After I got used to it I was alright though.
A couple of days before I did my volplane. The stunt is to go up to 8000 feet, then shut off the engine and land on a given spot without using the engine at all. It was alright when I left the ground but at 3500 feet I got into clouds and from then on it was just clouds and snow storms. I got thru 3 distinct snow storms and was pretty glad to see old mother earth again, when I finally did get out. Of course I was lost but soon picked up my bearings again as we are quite close to the North Sea, and the Humber and they are splendid landmarks. Today I was slated for a cross country trip. It is just a nice 100 mile run and I am looking forward to it. I enjoy every bit of it, and a few good days now will finish me off. I am going to try to finish up so that I can have my last leave in town at Easter. That is next week, by the way.
Am enclosing a very poor snap taken in my own bus. I am so wrapped up that I could almost pass for a tramp. By the time I get my goggles down there isn't much left of my face, eh?
I am glad you are keeping so well, Mother, and that you are able to do so much outside work. I am sure it is all much appreciated. And the time goes so much more quickly when one is busy. The Winnipeg folks are looking forward to having Emily and yourself out to visit them this summer. I am looking forward to having you go too, so please do not disappoint us. There is no use in urging Father to go, I suppose but it will do you the world of good and Alf and I will feel so much better if you go. I only wish I could go with you. Emily must have some holiday, and I am sure you couldn't find a better place than the farm or Minaki.
I am going to go through my wardrobe next week and stock up, if necessary. You can depend I will have everything I can use, so don't worry about me in that line. I have lots of good warm boots, I have one pair sheepskin-lined that come up to my thighs, and lots of warm gauntlets. Those are the places I used to feel the cold so I am all O.K.
Have not heard from Alf of late, only once since he went over but he is alright and Mr Reade has all the money he will need. That appears to be his big trouble, but they feed better in France than in England, so that he will be sure to get lots to eat, I will see that he has all the money necessary as it is easier than getting it over from Canada.
Must close now as I want to get in a walk before dinner & it has been too miserable to go out all day.
Lots of love for father, Emily and self and kind regards to Miss Smith.
P. S. I am feeling as good as I could possibly be, never felt better in fact.
W. H. G.