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Date: July 1st 1916

Ward II.
Ontario Military Hosp.
Orpington Kent.
July 1/16

Dear Ma, -

Have been here more than two weeks now and will likely remain for another one yet. Mrs. Reid and Mrs. Dr. Henderson were down a few days ago. It is nice to have friends visit you when closed up in an hospital. They were here for a couple of hours and Mrs. Reid was telling me about her relations and friends whom I suppose I should know but don't. Just had to pretend I did. Most of them were from Battleford. Dr. Henderson is on his way back to London from Persia where he has been with British Troops.

Yesterday afternoon two fellows from each ward went to Black Heath which is just in London from this side. The Khaki Club entertained us for a couple of hours. There were all kinds of games - cricket, foot ball, ping-pong, billiards etc. Stratford & I spent most of our time playing Ping-Pong. We had music and winging with our coffee and cakes. A fellow doesn't notice he misses these things till he hears them again. It surely makes your hair stand on end and make you feel thankful you're alive. We had a good time and it did us a great deal of good. The day before I didn't know what to do with myself, got so restless sitting around doing nothing. But things are looking-up now. Last night after coming back an actor and his wife were down from London and gave a concert in the recreation room. Parts were funny but I didn't enjoy it as well as the afternoon's outing.

To-day being July 1st there will be a baseball game and I think the local theatrical club will put on a concert this evening. And if the entertainments continued we won't get so restless. I suppose its natural not to be satisfied with one's lot, always wanting something different.

Howy wrote me and he is coming up this week-end perhaps or whenever he gets his leave. Also Gordon MacDonald & Bill Martin may come up. Howy isn't sure when they go to France but the rumour is that they won't go till August.

The 68th are at Bramshott and have sent over a draft to France. Ed. Stewart and Fraser were up to Mrs. Reid's for a week each. I would like to get down there and see those fellows but there doesn't seem much chance for that.

In the last "Canada" dated July 1st quite a large number of our fellows were casualties. It's awful those that are missing, nearly all from 1 Co. If you are looking in the list you'll know our draft (1st McGill) because numbers start A10XXX or A11XXX. The 2nd McGill

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Turner and Peck's left eye has been taken out there is very little hope of saving his left one. A piece of shrapnel is in the pupil and the Dr. is going to operate but has very little hope of preserving the pupil. You get an insight into the cruelty and seriousness of this war when you see the way some are wounded. It is awful. Wilf Wilson is in No. 25 General Hosp. Hardecot France. I got his and Peck's address from London. Gun shot wound in temple is written under the address so Wilf must be too serious a condition to come over here yet. Saw Lum Clark's and Charlie Burn's name in the list as wounded, haven't heard where they are yet.

Desbusay from Vancouver used to live in Medicine Hat, is here. I think I told you about him. Dr. says he wont be able to walk for a year. He'll likely get back to Canada as soon as he is able to travel. Pa may remember Mr. Hawthorne of Medicine Hat asking me about him in Toronto.

I haven't received any letters from home yet. I wish if Willie takes it into his head to enlist to write me first because I want to tell him a few things before he does sign up. These things won't do after tell him to be sure and write first. Human beings were never made to undergo such bombardment and strain. They can't stand it. I've seen fellows that shook so bad that they were practically jumping around. The suffering and the sad things that happen are too awful to write or think about. It's a wonder more of the fellows don't go out of their minds.

I'll close now and write Sunday. Reg. is another year older. Mary and Arthur will be started on the holidays. Willie & Reg. on exams. Much love to each one.

Your loving son

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