3838 Selkirk Ave
April 16th 1917
Dear Mrs Leighton
It is just one year ago today that the 72nd Batt. left Vancouver for overseas.
It only seems as if it were yesterday that we were taking tea together down at the barracks - But what changes are wrought by this awful war. So many of those gallant soldiers have fallen - In today's paper are the names of Major Sweet & Jack Manly killed in action & many others that I know - And just think of poor Lieu. Colquhoun & Carl Lumsden & Major Johnston. Oh, it is sad.
I wonder if you are still in London? doing canteen work, you surely must be buy serving all those meals. We are busy here too; we just keep working away - This week my chapter is having a bridge tea at the Hudson Bay store - We are aspiring to forty tables - We are furnishing a bed in the New Military hospital which will cost us $60.00, so we have to get busy and make some money - We had a rummage sale in January & made $220.00, but that is all gone to buy wool - We turned in 112 pairs of sox in March, And I sent 90 pairs this last month to the 72nd Batt; and at Xmas time we sent 100 parcels to Col. Clark each containing a pair of sox, a towel soap, hat & toilet paper. So you see we are not doing badly for a small chapter.
I had a letter from Mrs Clark a couple of days ago from Scotland. I write her occasionally in regards to the Soldiers' wives - they are all in good circumstances - there seems to be little or no poverty amongst them - A great many of them belong to the Khaki Home out in South Vancouver (800 of them) & they meet twice a week to sew & knit & work for the soldiers - In this way they have all become acquainted with each other & prevents them from becoming lonely - They have whist drives & dances & all kinds of amusements & they raise lots of money in this way for their sock fund & red cross fund -
Mrs McDonald the President told me they raised a hundred dollars & more every month & I think they are really the most influential body of women in the city - They help with all the tag days & collect for the Can. Pat. Fund & everything - I went out there a couple of times myself to see them & they are all like one big family working away & laughing & chatting - It certainly is a great boon to the soldier's wives, and Mrs McDonald, the head of it, is a real live wire - I put one dollar of our little fund in their red cross box - I still have five dollars left out of that 7.00 having had no occasion to give it to any needy case -
Lieu. Jack Smith arrived home on leave today. His mother will be so glad to have him back - His father died just recently -
The Dr. seems to be standing it pretty well at the front & writes home very interesting letters - I had one yesterday where he said they were going into the line again for eighteen days, they had only been out six days - He tells me, that during his spare moments, he is writing a book, & that it is nearly finished I am quite anxious to know how it will turn out.
I was so pleased to hear of your husband's promotion - Give him my very kind regards when you write - Miss Cavanagh rang me up the other day to tell me how happy she was being engaged to be married in June - to Mr Wright Inspector of the Royal bank here
Yours very sincerely Ellen. E. Herald