INTERESTING LETTERS FROM HALIFAX (CANADA).
Halifax, December 14, 1914.
Editor of The Cobourg World.
I am just dropping you a few lines to let you know how everything is with the Cobourg boys here.
We had a very good but tiresome trip down and arrived here at half-past twelve on Saturday night and marched straight up to the barracks. It was a good thing that we had an officer in charge and not merely an ornament. Lieut. Peterson I think nearly fought his way to Halifax. First the G. T. R. would neither feed us nor allow the train to stop long enough to let us get a meal at any of the station lunch rooms. Mr. Peterson ended in getting us a good meal in the diner. It also must have been the idea of the G. T .R. to send us to Halifax in cold storage, probably for the convenience in handling. I presume we could be shipped over as carcasses and thawed out at the front as we were needed. However, Mr. Peterson quickly settled this by marching us all into the first class coach. I merely mention this as Mr. Peterson might as easily have set in his Pullman and let us shift for ourselves as best we could.
Major Odell met us at the station here and it would be hard to say which of us were the more pleased to see each other. The Major is looking fine and as usual he has won the esteem of all with whom he has come in contact.
I would like also on behalf of all the men of the Cobourg detachment to express in some measure our appreciation for the many kindnesses shown us before leaving Cobourg, and for the magnificent send-off the people gave us. I can assure you it has been mentioned many times in the barracks among the men and it will be remembered long after we leave this country. I do not think it possible that any unit leaving for the front could have had a better send-off than the people of Cobourg gave us.
If any of the men showed any signs of breaking down it was not from fear or regret, but on account of the many marks of kindness and good will heaped on us. Mrs. Crowther and the ladies who so ably seconded her efforts may rest assured that their gifts have been more than appreciated by all of us.
Major Odell has certainly been very fortunate in the officers he has on his staff. They include the following:
Capt. Stanley, P.E.I., Lieut. Bethune, P.E.I., Capt. Goullett, Levis: Lieut. Layton, Montreal; and Lieut. Peterson, Berlin Germany? I do not think it possible to find a finer man. We are quartered in the R.C.E. Barracks, known as South barracks. We are upstairs and the P.E.I. Detachment are directly under us on the main floor. The other units are quartered in the old permanent Corps building on the other side of the same square. The life in Barracks is decidedly a change and at first is very irksome, but one soon gets used to it and falls into the habits of discipline and restriction quite, naturally. For the first couple of days the food was poor, but a new cook has been put on and things are now first class.
All of us have been inoculated the third time and with the exception of a few sore arms none of us are any the worse. While waiting my turn, I noticed a military Doctor's method of dealing with shirkers. One husky private from a Nova Scotia Regiment pleaded a very bad cold as an excuse for not taking his injection. He got four big tablespoons full of castor oil for his trouble. It was a very moving scene. Life is full of such tragedies.
For the first few nights we tried the military cots but have decided that the floor is softer. At any rate, Frank Spooner could not keep his feet from sticking out the end of his cot, and Bulger Christy fell out of his bodily, so we decided to vacate the rest before we suffered a like fate.
We have not had much drill as we are off duty about half the time on account of inoculation and bad weather. However from the exercises we have had to appreciate Instructor' Cranston's Drill very much. Before closing I wish to say that all are well and if any of you could step into our Barracks room at night you would think we were all on a picnic. I will try and write you again when things get settled and the regular appointments are made. Trusting that we will receive your papers regularly, I remain,