March 9th, 1919
Have just returned from church and am going to drop a line home before dinner, not that I have any news but merely so that you know that I am still OK. As you see I am still in Epsom. Expect to get out about the week from tomorrow. Would have been away on the coming Wednesday but last Wednesdays evacuation was cancelled and postponed until tomorrow. Everything at Epsom is as usual. I was to the camp cinema a couple of evenings ago. Saw "The Island of Regeneration" which was quite good. Also took in some of the lectures at the college and spent a good deal of time in the library. This with an occasional game of billiards or cards and a walk when it wasn't raining, which is not saying that I have done much walking for it has rained almost all the week, has filled up my time since I wrote last. Have had no Canadian mail this week. I had a letter from Tait. The battery is still in Belgium near Namur and it doesn't expect to come across for some little time yet. I wish I was back with the boys again. Am getting fed up with this life. Lying around doing nothing doesn't agree with me. The monotony of it gets on one's nerves. If one had something to keep him busy it would be all right but lying around the hut when it is raining continually gets rather irksome.
That little affair down at Rhyl will liven things up a bit. In fact one can see a difference already and not before time. There was too much unfairness about it all, too much dilly-dallying too and it is a wonder that there wasn't trouble before. The boys showed marvellous patience and it was only when they saw that arguments were useless that they took matters into their own hands. The Canadian believes in a square deal and when he doesn't get it is going to know the reason why. Men should be demobilized according to service yet the R.C.R.'s and 42nd, fifty per cent of whom are conscripts, were sent home while '14 and '15 men, married and with families, were being held back, and held back under rotten conditions. Camp life in England in winter is by no means the most pleasant and camp rations are not the best. Yet men are paid once a month only and then only a pound even though they have a credit of twenty or thirty pounds and are making from three and a half to four pounds a month besides their assigned pay. The Canadian will never kick about hardships when they are necessary but when they could be avoided and when the authorities refuse to let him spend a part of his own money to make himself more comfortable he has too much go in him to take it sitting down and when he finds that camp limits are unheeded he strikes and strikes hard for his rights. He has sacrificed too much to be bullied now and he wants to get home when his turn comes without having a bunch of conscripts that have been away for less than a year butting in ahead of him. I understand that as a result of the Rhyl business they are taking service as the basis for men in England and if that is the case it will not be long after I leave here until I get away. There is ten days leave from the reserve but I am not going to take more than three or four days. Just long enough to get some things I need. Would like to run across to Ireland but above all I want to get home so don't think it is worthwhile taking the time. Have seen a fair share of this country now and little P.E.I. is the place that interests me most at present, more than anything else.
Well Mother there isn't any news of interest so I think I will say au revoir as it is almost dinner time. I am fine and dandy getting fat and lazy from doing nothing. Hope to get some Canadian mail tomorrow. Will write again in a few days.
Love to all, Harold