March 20th 1916
After nearly three weeks of patience I was rewarded last night by Canadian mail. Two letters from home dated Feb 20th & 27 and one from W'p'g. dated Febr'y 20th. So you see while I got quite a lot, yet there must be some more on the way somewhere. It will be along soon now I guess.
I suppose my mail has been held up the same way. If it has been you may have felt very anxious at first, but that is a bad plan, because no news is good news from the front. Whenever there is anything wrong cables travel very quickly. And I will always write whenever I get a chance.
I hope you get the name of our winter house. We have named it after our host and in his honor. He is the Abbï¿½ of the convent. All the officers now know our home by that name, at least all who come here regularly.
I had one of the largest surprises of the war today. As I was coming out of the door I noticed quite a tall figure coming down the road and I said to myself, 'Art is long and time is fleeting', and sure enough it was our friend Arthur Hampson; he of the plates. He is looking very fit and is sporting a nice military moustache. So we had quite a nice chat and I invited him in to the dug-out. His battery is located quite close to our place and he lives just around the corner "as it were". He inquired after one and all and wished to be very kindly remembered to each one. You especially Em; he is quite interested in your welfare. He and 3 of his chums went from Victoria, one was killed but there are still three of them together. He is on the telephone for the battery, quite a nice easy job. He seemed to welcome the few magazines I gave him as "news" is rather scarce out here. If Father sees any of the Hampsons he might tell them Arthur is well and remember me to them. I was afraid to enquire after them very minutely as I remembered that he had lost either his father or mother but I wasn't sure which. His mother was it not?
I also met a chap who knew Gibson Gilroy, who is now in England. He gave me his regiment, so I am writing him a note this eve. Tell Father the papers he mentioned have not arrived yet, but they probably will before long. It will take a little time to get caught up again.
I am sorry the folks did not get up to see you. I am sure they would be disappointed too. You know Sir John expects everyone to do just as he says, even to going on holiday trips. He had the reputation of being a wonderfully fine entertainer so no doubt they will have a good time. I have not heard from them since they left W'p'g.
Roy White was in the other day. He comes in quite often. He makes this a sort of a store room for all his surplus equipment. He is real well and makes a splendid soldier. He always wanted something like this, now he has got it and has had, I think, all he cares for. I mean he would gladly go back to Canada at any time.
I suppose by this time Mr and Mrs Sparrow will be en route. You must tell me about the nuptials. I am sure he is very nice. I would like to have had been there. I will warrant there were copious tears shed and much ï¿½clat. I anxiously await yours and the 'Rep's' acc't of same.
I rode over to B. a couple of days ago and had afternoon tea with my French friends. They are charming people and it is a treat to get into a real home once again. They invited me back for dinner, any evening I can go over. I will try to get off an afternoon before we move. Miss Perrier is very pretty and they are all very refined. Mrs P. has a son in the Verdun battle so was rather worried. While the battle is on he writes home every day. Verdun is certainly a big show and is going to be a glorious victory for us. I wish they would try to poke their noses thru our line. They would certainly meet with a hot reception.
Leave has started again. Garfat goes in the morning for a nine day jaunt for London, I rather envy him only that he has to leave at 4 a.m. which would canu [?] the proposition so far as I am concerned. I may get an opportunity to go in a couple of months if everything goes well. I don't care a farthing whether I go or not as I am perfectly happy and contented where I am and I don't want to miss any fun.
I wrote Alf last week to Toronto. I suppose they will forward his mail. I will write him again soon. I would like to hear all about his training course. I am sure he will make the O. S. battalion alright. Tell Mother her letter is very cheery and to keep on thinking as she does and I will be back to eat up her good eats before too long.
Lots of love for all the family & kindest regards to Miss Smith. Tell her I am expecting a letter from her soon.