1st Canadian Command Depot,
Sept. 8. 1916
Dear Pa, -
It is sometime since I have written to you and there is quite a number of yours to answer. I have been here over a week and am gradually getting on to the way things are done. Two of us both lieuts., are in charge of No. 3. Co. which is about 520 strong. They physical drill which is 90% of the work is taken by trained instructors. We oversee their work, that means walking around a large field looking at the different squads. There is a route march for about half an hour, morning & afternoon which 3 of us generally go on. On Sat. & Wed. mornings we have company drill and I was shouting orders last Wed. I know the company drill pretty well. There were three just made lieuts. who were Sergeant Majors here before. They know very well what is to done but make mistakes in orders. They are old soldiers, very regimental and get after the men. I don't like to shout at them. They have done their bit at the front and know what is needed. Altho it certainly does them no harm to move quickly and be under strict discipline, the men all have feelings and when anyone kept after us I used to feel sore. The other officer in 3 Co. was Regimental Sergeant Major here and knows the orderly room work. He and I sit together when the men are brought up on charges. He does the sentencing and I looked on to see how to do it. It is quite a step from the ranks to a commission. I signed my name to about 20 week end passes yesterday.
Mr. Donaldson is in Folkestone and has written me to come down. To-day I was sent down in charge of 26 men to C.C.A.C. We marched from here to Westenhange[?] a mile and a quarter, took the train to Folkestone about five miles then marched up to the C.C.A.C. Came back in an ambulance. I went into Mr. D's place but he was out will go down to-morrow - Sat. It seems funny to have the salutes. A party of 50 were going along under a sergeant. He gave eyes right and saluted and I returned it. It is quite different from being a ranker and so easy to get if you have the necessary pull.
I want to tell you about the financial side of this thing. The Bill at Hawkes & Co - military tailors was 26 Â£ & that was for 2 tunics, 1 pr. of slacks (trousers) a pr. of breeches Sanbroune (belt, etc) etc. (shirts collars, ties, handkerchiefs Cap. The O.C. told me to go there and I got very good clothes, measured and made to order. Manfield & Sons,- for boots. 8Â£ 1 pr. of ordinary boots 1 pr. of long "[boots] leather leggings, spurs etc. I drew 35Â£ from my own pay book. Paid 10Â£ + (7Â£ I borrowed from Mr. Reid) at Hawkes & Co. 5Â£ to Manfield & Sons. So I owe
10Â£ to Hawkes
3Â£ to Manfield
7Â£ to Mr. Reid
There is a government grant of 51Â£ to my credit at the Pay & Record office which I didn't know was there. The pay-master here is going to write about it and I'll be able to write checks to pay these debts. Out of that Â£35 I paid for numerous other things besides the 15Â£ for boots & clothes.
A sleeping bag 3Â£ 10S.
Cane 5S. 6D.
2 Underwear 10S.
Hair brush 5S.
Gillette outfit (like yours) 1Â£ 10S.
Fountain pen 10S.
2 suits pajamas
Etc etc etc etc etc.
I am telling these things to show you "I'm a business man from New York." Everything I got was good.
My pay now is $2.60 a day. The mess fees, including batman is about 3Â£ a month (very small).
I am thinking, not very seriously, of buying a second-hand motor-cycle with that 31Â£. But don't know how heavy the expenses around the mess, travelling (1st class to London for a weekend) etc will allow me unless you can put some money to my credit with Mr. Reid. I don't want you to do that if it will cause you to make some sacrifice in other ways but if the money is available and you think I ought to have it.
I had better close for to-night. The Chaplin, (capt.) is asleep and it must be 11 p.m.
Mr. Donaldson may take me for a game of golf to-morrow afternoon.
Hope everyone is well. Willie rides a horse, which is much easier than marching.
Love to each one.
Lieut. With no number, address at beginning of letter.