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Date: May 5th 1918

B.C. C.E.J.D

Seaford Sx.

May 5/18


My dear mother:-


I forget whether I wrote you or Grace last but one thing I haven’t forgotten & that is that I’ve received 2 letters from you this last week & none from grace, so I owe you another letter anyway but what does it matter whether its you or Gracie that receives one as long as you get news of me. Well mother I’m tired of my job & going to quit & go back to France. Tired of it for all its folly ways and meanesses. There are a bunch around here who are after power & they try by every means in their power to ingratiate themselves with the officer while I stand by & let them so I’m going to quit but another thing I have to give up my stripes & go back & be a common old Sapper again that will be nice, but one should worry. I got in trouble the other day being out of bounds went to Eastbourne to get a bicycle fancy & before I got to the place where it was the Red caps got me & so I expect they will take my stripes away for that. They try in every way to reduce us confirmed men & they find it very easy. The reason they want to break us is that there are too many I’m only one of many as I’m not worrying & it won’t make any difference to Grace in her pay. Another thing I want to get to France because I’m a better boy there. God seems very far away in England & tho I haven’t lost touch with Him, I often do that which is displeasing to His loving self & so mother tell Grace not to worry about her boy he wants to play the man & he finds that he cannot do it here. you know our bible tells us to flee temptation to get away from it & tho I’m not tempted in any big things there are a lot of habits I have got which keep me from enjoying the full measure of His love & so I’m unhappy & won’t be right till I get back where the real men can come to the top. of course I’m not there yet & won’t be for a few days but the sooner the better. I’ve made preparations for just such a move for I have all my training marked up & could get out tomorrow at present I’m doing C-B. not answering defaulters but confined to camp. I’m sorry it happened but it was entirely unpremeditated on my part saw some fellows going away asked them to wait while I went with them & as soon as we got to east- Countie the Red caps picked me up the other fellow had a pass & he got away

We don’t call it a serious crime in the army just that but as I say they can make it that if they wish & they are wishing to do it these days. Still I know its my loving Father’s doing when the Father Cometh He chasteneth & it takes sometimes a pretty hard jolt to waken some of us up to see His love and I want Him to have the first place no matter what it costs & so He is bringing me closer to His loving self. the way is hard & it hurts but I’m glad. its been to easy here mother to easy & I’ve been having a good time & not being the boy I want to be & so He just came and made me see what I lacked & what He wanted. We have had Capt Pidgeon of Bloor st Pres. talking to us this afternoon & he has been good. he gave us a talk by Cartier on the Christ this morning we had Capt Lawson of the Y and he spoke on a verse in 2. Timothy 2.5. Strive for masteries and striving lawfully so I’ve had a fine day mother a day I needed & if I had been free dear knows where I’d have been, so all things work together for good don’t they dears. oh how I want my home these days & yet if God in His goodness does see fit to bring me home again safe what a joy it will be to know I’ve done my share & done it clear. a picture shown this afternoon was Watts picture of death not red death with his skull face & scythe but a being full of light just helping the fellow over the way & that’s what death is its not the grim thing man has been taught it is but life itself & that more abundantly with time. I was so glad to get your letters & the news of my babes. that prayer of Eleanor’s was great. God bless the soldiers & keep them in France. the dear sweet heart.  how hungry I get for her and you all & now mother dear I’m not sorry I’ve decided for France its the land of promise for me. promises of a closer walk with Him of a more faithful life is waiting there for me & tho it may be a long time or a short one before I go, if the Lord wills it I’m going but of one thing I’m certain, if I can’t get home to you all I’m going back there if I can

I’ve never sent Mrs Neil that picture I have it here now & will enclose it with my love to her its rather dirty but as I carried it for some time she won’t mind that. if you care to trade yours for this one why that will be better as you said you felt like giving yours to her so I won’t write anything on this one except my name & address & now my own loving mother & all those who are my darlings I must close. oh how I want you all this afternoon how hungry one gets for those he loves at times & the feeling has been growing on me well I’ve just got to get out & change this. this old petty life full of its sameness was never for me. so I’m glad I’m going to like a change if they will let me go of course. I’ve yet got to get that


Bye Bye for present dearies my love & my kisses to you all & may the time soon come when this war will be over & we home with our loved ones once more. Your loving boy salutes you mother mine




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