Exeter - Devon
Finer than frogs hair, can't be beat - going along like Fire Chief Davise's auto on the trail of an alarm. Today is Sunday and we are not allowed out of the grounds, and say, I felt as restless as an old bear, and had to chase around the grounds for awhile to get quieted down.
I have a guide book of the town now and am going to explore it thoroughly. You may be sure that I will have a grand time - After that it will be me for the rolling coutry-side and I will revel in that. This stunt begins to assume a rather nice aspect. Don't you envy me my sight seeing?
Yesterday I sent away money orders to clear myself in the eyes of the world and I now feel 1000 time better. I never did like being in debt. Yesterday afternoon one of the theatres was thrown open to wounded soldiers, and after a very fine vaudeville performance each soldier received a present of cigarettes, chocolate, apples, and some article such as a cigarette case, tobacco pouch etc. The boys were all highly pleased with the affair and it was very generous of the people to contribute to it.
Today, being Sunday was visitors day. Two old ladies called on me and were very nice and quaint. One of the lads has his home in Exeter, and his two sisters called on him. Between them and the nurses we had a great time. I am the only Canadian in the ward and I have a great time standing up for my country against all comers. It all adds to the fun - so all hands chip in.
No new news from Dundee. Aunt Janet is still in hospital and I hope getting entirely cured. The girls are a nice pair and I hope to spend some time with them when on leave. Miss Hutcheson was still on the sick list when I last heard from Greenock. I haven't heard for several days from there, and hope she is recovering. Doubtless Uncle Willy will deep you informed.
Jean writes from Glasgow that Cousin George is in hospital in France. Reports are contradictory as to the trouble, George says rheumatism, but the war dept say Epilepsy. Aunt Jean is very much down hearted over the latter report and I hope it is untrue. It would be too have for a promising young fellow like him to be so afflicted. I am anxiously awaiting more news.
Nothing new from Southampton or Liverpool. Lee has not written me again, but I hope for news soon. I wish the old timer would drop in on me - that sure would be a pleasure. No new letters from the unit either - the mail service seems to be all balled up - none of the boys are getting their returned letters here in quick time However, I think that things will improve - as soon as the unit gets settled down again.
I could not finish this letter last night so here goes again. I have just received another letter from Lee - he is fine and having a good time. He expects to get 4 days special leave to London soon, in addition to his sick leave. I hope he has one glorious time of it. No other news of importance
While at Nice, I net a very nice English woman with two little daughter one 6 and the other 9. The elder one is going to marry me as soon as she is old enough. They are a pair of pretty, lively blonde haired, blue eyed girls, and I got all kinds of amusement out of them. I wrote to the mother, who was very nice to me while at Nice and told her I was hit. Yesterday I received a letter from her, enclosing one from each of the girls. I am enclosing the two letters from the girls in this letter, and after you have read them please put them somewhere where they won't get lost as I want to keep them for souvenirs. You will be much amused by them I am sure.
Not finished yet Here goes for another spasm. I was busy buying Xmas presents yesterday. I am sending you a bunch of fancy work done by wounded soldiers in the hospital here. On each piece is marked the name and wound of the man who made it - also the name of the person to whom I want to give it. I will send all the gifts in one parcel so as to save trouble in packing. If you or Isobel fancy something which is not marked for you, take it and substitute yours in its place. I am sending gifts for you, Isobel, Elsie, Dorothy, and Mrs. Russell in the parcel.
I am sending a calender with a pen sketch of an English Officer (cartoon) to Uncle Jack and some fancy work to Aunt Bella. They have both been very good to me.
I just received a letter from Blake. He is O.K. The boys are still out on rest and having a good time, I am glad to say. Blendell was also O.K. All the boys and officers in the unit, Blake says, send me their best wishes for a happy New Year and a Merry Christmas. It sure is good of them.
Well mother, I think I have about finished. Good Luck and good health to you all - and a successful New Year.
Your loving son,
Be sure to let me know if you don't receive the parcel. I am sending a little present for baby Ellen, latter.