4 Squadron R. F. C.
B. E. F. France
My Dear Mother,
I started a letter last night but did not get along very well. Some one came in, and I guess, stayed too late. Then I heard that I was on at 4:15 a.m. so I went to bed. Had a very second rate night of it too, as Huns kept coming over at intervals all night until about 3 a.m., and dropping bombs and etc. No damage was done at least not to our squadron, but they do make a lot of noise.
No letter this week so far, and no Winnipeg letter for over two weeks. The mails must be bad between Canada and England. The channel seems to be in working order as I had 6 letters and a couple of parcels from England yesterday.
There is a concert going on down in the Y.M.C.A. hut tonight, but I've been intending to write all day so now it's up to me.
Had a most delightful day yesterday. Got thru my work early and then in the afternoon got a side car. Went over and had tea with my French friends, the Perriers, you remember the people I used to go to see when here before. A few days before I had been in town quite early one morning at the canteen so went around to see if they were still there. They were at breakfast but they knew me at once and I went in but I did not stay long. One of the brothers was home on leave at the time and the other gets home every night so they were quite happy. When I went yesterday they were just getting tea ready, so I enjoyed my visit very much.
Then I went home by way of the convent, you know where I used to live. There were lots of changes, of course, but I walked in and soon saw Sister Raphael (the chief cook) and she knew me at once, calling me by name. Remarkable people they are for it is quite 16 months since I have seen any of them. Sister produced a bible or prayer book in which I had written her name in English and asked me if I remembered the day I did it. Then she gave me coffee and biscuits and sat and talked to me while I ate them. Then she took me around the convent and then out thru their beautiful vegetable and flower garden. I saw the Mother Superior and most of the sisters and the Mother invited me to stay for dinner, which I couldn't but I am going over some day for a real good meal. While in the garden I saw the grave of Major Willie Redmond. It is very beautiful and the nuns are looking after it. These nuns are really very fine people and I think they must do a lot of good. I enjoyed my day immensely and it is such a nice break in the monotony of things.
I am trying not to think of leave now. I am feeling so well and have such little reason to grumble at present, that I don't really need leave. However when it does come I shall be glad enough to take it. It is a little over 3 months since I joined this squadron and in that time we have seen some times. Mr Reade has joined up and is at present in the R. E. (Royal Engineers). I don't know what will happen from there, but I should think he would be drafted into some other unit. Possibly the signals branch as he knows Morse very well indeed. In the meantime Mrs R is living at 3 Wiltie Gardens, Folkestone. They are rather unsettled as there is a faint possibility that he may be returned to the Bank as he is a B1 man.
By now you will be at Minaki and having a fine time.
It is such a sensible holiday I think. You can rest down there, live out and it will be such pleasure for all concerned. If I can't get leave myself I feel much better to think that you are having a good time Mother, you certainly deserve it.
My appetite continues above normal and so also my sleeping qualifications when I get the chance. The summer is slipping by very quickly and the work will get easier in the fall. Lots of love for Father, Emily and self, and best regards to Miss Smith.