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Date: June 29th 1916

Napier Barracks
Shorncliffe, Kent

June 29th 1916

Dear Em,

I started a letter last night but sleep overcame me, so now I will try it again. I have a new job again, rather I am in a new place. For [the] past two weeks I have been at St. Martin's Plains Clinic. There were four of us there and we had it fairly easy. On Monday, however, Col. Armstrong asked me to take over this clinic. In fact there was no clinic here at all until I came over. I had to draw all new equipment and stores, and start a clinic. I have a very nice office here and when I get things the way I want it I shall be quite comfortable. At present I have the carpenters (engineers) busy making me various things. They are fixing me up with cabinets, stands, shelves etc. I put in a pretty large order the first day and have been at them ever since and am really surprised to see how much I am getting out of them. But it all takes time and that along with my own work has given me quite a busy three days.

Officially I am attached to the C. E. T. D. (Canadian Engineers Training Division). They supply drafts for overseas for any or all divisions in need of engineers. At present we have some 2,000 men and 80 officers on the nominal roll. And we are always receiving and discharging men, so that we have what might be termed a floating population. I can see some busy times ahead of me if I want to keep up with the bunch but I told the colonel (Col Armstrong) that I wasn't going to work like I did in France. He said he didn't want me to and has promised me a couple of good assistants who will be capable of taking a good deal of the work. But in the meantime I am practically alone, except for [an?] orderly. And I never count on any help until I see it installed. However, as I said I am not going to kill myself. I guess you will say there is not much danger of that. Well I never worked so hard in my life as I did in France and I didn't mind as long as I was with the old brigade but now it is different.

We are having rather poor weather. Too much rain for June, which is supposed to be the best month of the year. The roses and trees, grass etc. are at their best now. This is a very pretty spot. There are countless flower beds around the barracks, all kept beautifully and I think roses are in the majority. I eat my lunch each day at the mess and it is very nice. The officers are very nice indeed and quite a number have been to see me already.

I have a walk of about of a mile from the bus to the camp and it is quite good exercise. I am eating much better since I started to work and feel much better in every way. For the time being I am going to saw wood and say nothing. They know by this time that I want to get back to France and if they don't send me it isn't my fault. I suppose I am fortunate to have been there at all.

I am still living at the Reads'. I am very comfortable there indeed. Col Heiliston [?] (Engineers) offered me a tent on the grounds here but I am afraid I am not good enough a sport to leave my comfortable room. At any rate not until I get my bed etc. back from France. I have never heard a word about any of my things and I expect they are all lost by this time. It was just a lot of junk I know, but it cost me about $300 to collect it so I would like to see some of it again.

I have not had any mail this week yet. I expect it has been held up in France as there are stirring times on [sic] there just now and all mails are supposed to be off.

Was up; town last week end. Lorne and I went up together . He had never been and was quite anxious to go. I went to show him about a little. We just had part of two days but we saw quite a lot in the time. I hope I will have the pleasure of showing you about London soon. I wish you could all come over, it would be jolly fine to be all together again, wouldn't it?

How is Alf getting along? Is he in Toronto yet? I suppose his training will take up some months especially in the artillery. I am so glad he got into a battery. It is much better than the infantry, especially at the front. I may see him in England before the year is out.

Must close now as I am expecting a parade of about 12 men in a few minutes. My new orderly is a queer card. He was a stretcher bearer in one of the battalions in the first division (14th) and thinks he is quite a warrior. He only lasted about 3 or 4 months and said it was too hot for his nerves.

Hope to hear from home soon. Lots of love for Father, Mother, Alf & self and kind regards to Miss Smith.

Loving bro

P. S. I got Father's papers O.K. Also a Rep of May 4th, which was the last. W G H

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