(?) Hill Hospital
Hazel Grove (?) Stockport
May 3rd 1917
Dear Mother: -
This looks like childs writing as Iam writing with my left hand and I am lying in bed. It is slow work as this is the first letter I have written since I was wounded. I was three weeks in a hospital in France before I came to England. I am getting along nicely. It is just a matter of time before my wounds heal. In the meantime I am well looked after. I expect you have received several letters from nurses & ministers telling you how I was getting along. About three ministers & one nursing sister promised to write to you. I have not received any letters for a month as I have not written to my company to let them know where to forward my letters to. I expect Frank will come to see me one of these days.
May 4th Friday
I started this letter yesterday morning before breakfast but did not finish it as Frank arrived just after breakfast. He is going to stay until Sunday. You can imagine how glad I was to see him. He told me that Mundi has been sent to France. I never really thought (?) would ever send him across. Frank heard that Ingi Thordarson had been killed but I am not sure that it is true. I saw Ingi & Sveinbjorn Pallson in France about March 15th or 20th, - and also some other 108th boys that I knew. I saw Julli Stefanson about a week later but he was not in the same battalion as Ingi. Ingi might have been killed since I saw him. Such a thing could easily happen. Of course his people would be notified immediately. This is an English hospital but there are a few Canadians here but they are in other wards. So far I have been the only Canadian in this ward but this morning a new bunch of patients came in and there was a Canadian put into this ward. He is really a Yankee but he joined a Halifax battalion and has been with the Canadians at the front. I think most of Icelandic boys of the 108th are gone to France. Frank tells me that Joe Daniel had been on draft but had not been sent because he was too young. It is now 3p.m. and I have just had an inoculation in my left arm.
May 5th Saturday
It is about 8 a.,. now and I have just had my breakfast. He slept here at the hospital night before last but yesterday all the extra beds were filled with new patients. So yesterday he got a room in a private house where he will sleep the remaining nights of his stay here. He will be going back to Shorncliffe to-morrow. Frank told me that Dad was working at Tergesen's. I was surprised when he told me. I have not received any letters for over a month. I am going to write to my company and let them know where to forward my mail to. Very likely ther's a parcel waiting for me somewhere.
Monday May 7th
Frank left Saturday afternoon. He thought he could stay till Sunday but when he looked at his pass he saw that he had to be back Sunday morning. He had to leave here Saturday afternoon as it is a long journey. Well, dear mother I have not much more news to tell you. It is about time I finished it and had it mailed.
How does dad like working at Tergesen's? Why did he quit Sigurdson and Thorvaldson? Tell him not to mind through I don't write to him because this letter is to him as well as to you. I suppose you know by this time that I lost my right arm in the great war. However I am getting along fine. When I get better I will get an artificial arm and when I get home I will be able to be useful even if I am shy an arm. I'll be looking for a job when I get back to Canada. This war is going to hit our old home town harder than I ever expected. I am afraid that some of the boys from home will never come back. I told Frank to stay away from France as long as he coould and not be too anxious to get there. There is a saying amongst some of the boys in the trenches that "its better to be a living coward than a dead hero." I have not written to Mrs. Tyler since I came here but I will as soon as I can. I find it awkward to write in bed with my left hand and I don't write much at a time. By the way Frank told me that he had received two parcels from the Daughters of the Empire. I haven't got any from them yet and I thought that they might send me one for a change. Maybe they will send me one when they hear that I have done my bit. It makes a fellow sore to think that he has been forgotten.
Tuesday May 8th
I think Ill finish this letter today. By the way I was wounded by a German shell which burst right beside me. I am lucky to be alive at all. There was a young chap stanking in front of me at time and he was killed on the spot. I felt so sorry for him because he was so young. He was only about 17 or 18.
How is Bonnie getting on? I suppose she will worry her head about her soldier brother just because he is wounded. Tell her she nee not worry; because Im not dead yet; not by a long way. "There's life int eh old dog yet." And what's more, Ill be in Canada at the end of the summer or early fall. When I get better I will be sent to a place where artificial limbs are made to get a new arm and I will likely stay there until I get used to it and learn how to use it. You need not worry about me. I think I would like a small parcel. I would like some Playeers cigarettes and a package of Old Chum tobacco & a plug of T & B Smoking tobacco and some chocolates and nut bars. I want to give Frank the pk. Of Old Chum and send Mundi the plug of T & B. I wish you would send me one of my photos is you have any left. If you send me cake or tarts I am afraid it would spoil on the way as it takes the letters and parcels such a long time to get here. I received a letter from Loa Sigurdson when I was in France but I have lost her address. Give her my regards when you see her and remember me to all my friends (not forgetting my old friend Sarah Sveinson). Give my love to all relatives. I wrote to Uncle John and to Aunt Annie when I was in France but have not heard from them since. How is old Maggie getting on? Remember me to her. When you write be sure and tell me all the news. There is a lady lives near here who visits the Canadians quite often and she sometimes brings me fruit & cigarettes. She always brings me something. She is a representative of the Canadian Red Cross Society. She visits the Canadians and sends in reports of what we want. I have received 4 parcels from the Can. Red Cross. The first was a bag containing useful articles such as shaving outfit hair brush, cholcolate, gum, etc and a copy of the Free Press. The other parcels contained fruit, cigarettes, chocolate and another copy of the Free Press. Mrs. Johnson, the lady Frank stayed with when he was here, has been to see me twice. She is going to come and see me as often as she can. Visiting days are Wednesday