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Date: May 20th 1917
To
Miss Lola
From
Arthur L.T.
Letter

Lord Derby War Hospital Warrington May 20/17 Dear Miss Lola, The day before yesterday I received a big packet of mail from the Army Post Office. It had been to France and returned and many of the letters were sent long ago for I had not received any mail from Canada for three weeks before leaving the battalion & that was two months ago. Your letter of Mar 4th was in the packet so you will understand why I have been so long in answering it. It has been redirected many times and has so many postmarks and addresses on it that it is quite a curiosity. It was written the Sunday that you found the paint box. I did not know that you went in for daubing. The only success I ever had in this line was when Tommy Fargher and I painted a bulkhead on the S.S. Templemore bound for Baltimore & the Chief Engineer said we used too much paint. The Bulkhead was just over the Stoke Hole and we had to stand on a grating to do the job. Being somewhat inexperienced we inadvertently dropped a little paint from time to time on the poor stokers below & the flow of language which invariably followed these accidents was very emphatic. Owing to the lurid red glare from the furnaces these volleys of curses from the perspiring half naked figures below could not but remind us of a place of which we had heard and read. This discovery proved so interesting to us that what at first was purely accidental soon became the result of malign intent. Tommy Fargher has now deserted the Civil Engineering profession & entered the Army permanently as an officer in the Royal Engineers and the poor old "Templemore" was burnt about three years ago and her ruins are at the bottom of the deep blue sea. You seem to have had a very jolly time at the MAAA on your last visit of the season in spite of the condition of the ice. Behaving like "small boys" is a delightful recreation and reminds me of the tin can on the Little Canal at Lachine. I certainly made a bad break when I told you about hearing Capt Burke sing "Absent". I shall refrain from apologizing as you must be tired of hearing me. I seemed doomed to get in wrong from time to time over that affair. "The moving Finger writes and having writ moves on Nor all the piety or wit Can lure it back to cancel half a line Nor all thy tears wash out one word of it." I am also reminded of the strange nature of "forgiveness" - having done something wrong, "we can no more forgive ourselves than we can look into our own eyes or shake hands with ourselves". I am far from being an "accomplished parlez français" but if you like to write to me in French I shall try to reply in the same lingo. Father wrote to me today. He went to Blackpool last Thursday to see my brother Ralph who is in a private billet there. Ralph managed to get Father a room in the same house so he stayed there until today. They had all their meals together and had a jolly time when Ralph was off duty. Yesterday Ralph was free after 10-30am so they had a long day together. Father's step-brother is retired and lives at Blackpool so during the day whilst Ralph was drilling they spent most of the time together. It happens that Father has nothing much to do until Tuesday next week so he could enjoy his holiday without worrying. He is having an easy time now owing to the war, and I must say I am rather glad the rest will do him good. Father expects to be busy on Tuesday and Wednesday this week so will not be able to come here until Thursday. Ralph has just become engaged to a girl Light Miriam Gould so it looks as if I shall have the same fate as May Robertson. I have only met the young lady once which was when I was home on Sunday morning after church and in the evening he brought her with him and we met together at my sisters where we all been invited to supper after church. She seems very nice indeed. Ralph expects to go to France very soon now. The Daylight Saving Bill is in force in this country and as we are supposed to go to bed about 8-30pm to 9-0pm, they do not put the lights on in the ward now. It is after 9 oclock now and too dark to write anymore. I am allowed up all day now so should be sent to Con. Camp in a week or so. Expect to be back to France about July. We are expecting another convoy tonight so as we have no orderly I may stay up to help. I have become an expert at desk washing since I came to the hospital - am also good at polishing brass work and hardwood floors. Kindest regards to all Yours very sincerely Arthur L.T.

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