April 23, 1916
Since writing to you on Friday have had a busy and interesting time. Yesterday it rained all day. We spent the morning cleaning our kit, polishing stoves, and chasing dirt and untidiness generally, in readiness for the C.O.'s inspection, which takes place at noon every Saturday.
After dinner a few of us, in spite of the rain, walked to Folkestone. We had a little shopping to do, and one of the chaps and I wandered into the museum, where some pictures of Belgian artists were on exhibition. We saw also some beautiful fossils, and a perfect skeleton of an early Saxon. The curator told us that they ran into a burial ground a few years ago. The other remains were distributed to museums, but the best specimen was retained. He lies in the exact position in which he was laid away hundreds of years ago. A sheet of iron was shoved under him and the earth carefully removed from the upper side of the bones. So much for natural history. This morning the sun really shone. We shook our blankets and polished our buttons joyfully. Church parade at 10.30 in the garrison gymnasium, where the non-conformists have services. Communion at the close. The speaker was a young Presbyterian, a U.of T. man, very good, straight - forward preaching, and an inspiring service altogether.
After dinner Porter and I set out to hunt for Saltwood Castle, of which the charms had been sung by earlier discoverers. We found it after a most beautiful walk of about 3 miles. I can't describe it except to say that if there are any lovelier ruins, in any more satisfying surroundings, may I live to see them! We took a number of views which I hope to send before long; but they won't give you the green of the ivy. I enclose an historical sketch of the Castle which I purchased from an old dame for 2d.. The picture shows little of the ruins. The towers belong to the modern part, which is occupied.
After leaving the castle we turned seaward and came back to barracks through Hythe and Sandgate. Not satisfied with this, we took an evening stroll by the seaward route to Folkestone to see the promenade on the Leas. The whole room is now engaged in letter-writing.
Met Fred Field at church parade & walked back with him. He deems well, though a little disgusted at their present quarters in the mud. They were in billets at their first station in England & were treated like princes. The contrast is rather strong. Our barrack room looked like a palace to him.
Love to all,