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Date: July 21st 1918
Mr. Irwin
W.J. Stares

A.Coy 6th Can. Res. Bn.


Seaford. Sussex.


July 21st 1918


Dear Mr. Irwin.

Your letter of June. 27th to hand yesterday, was pleased to hear from you. It helped to cheer me up as I have been feeling very tough lately. I have been in Hospital, suffering with the latest epidemic The “Spanish Flu” not a very nice thing to have.

Severe Headache, partial loss of legs, aches and pains all over, and feverish. For one week I just gazed at the ceiling, counting the flies, working out imaginary patterns on the paintwork, going through some of the Battles again, (in my mind) killing Germans by the thousands. The lad in the next bed thought it safer underneath the bed. (suppose I was delirious) I had to laugh when he told me about it. And say I had a peach of a nurse, she was a Dandy. I Love my Nurse. But I did not like the dope she called Medicine. Such faces I made, and how she use to laugh, while taking it. Glad to say I am on the way to Convelesence. The latest to arrived in Camp is Gordon Puffer, I have not yet seen him, but I heard that he was enquiring after me, they tell me he has filled out considerably, guess it is the Army Rations that’s done that. Have not heard from Karl for some considerable time. I think he said that he was a Batman, or else working in the Mess. Received a letter from Max Mac Naughton last week, he is well, and feels like an Old Veteran, and the best of it is that he is free from vermin, in fact he has not seen any yet. different to when I was there, I could not see myself for them, During the Somme affair. I let them have nearly all my clothes, and went without underclothes of any kind, not even a Shirt or Socks. The much needed Rain came this week, and things look fresh again after the 2 months drouth. The Conscripts are coming in fast. Mostly French speaking, so I have decided to take advantage of the Khaki College and learn French, along with Shorthand and Drawing. The last bunch that came were mostly jailbirds. One doing a lifer, and in the bunch that came in recently a few Conscientious Objection, but I think after the first days performance with them, they will change their minds, for they will never stand what they went through again, and come out alive.

Todays paper brings splendid news, and everyone is tickled to death over the French and Yankee blow between Soisson and Chateau. Thierry and the spirit of the troops is good, here, they even want to go without any training, of course it is impossible.

I heard in a recent letter that you were moving from Norwood, I am so glad that you are staying for another year. I think I told you in a letter that I had met Capt. Birdsall I got the names mixed up it was Capt. Neilson that I saw. And the next day he bid me Good Bye for Canada.

I also heard rumours of Capt. Thompson from lads who is in Camp and knew him in France. They say he was only in the line 2 days and came out with Trench fever. I was in the line 22 months and I couldn’t get it. suppose his Blood was out of order. I earned my “Distinguished” at the Musketry School, but my Staff position did not materialize. Thanks to the Colonel.

Well How is Miss Mac L – not flirting yet. Eh, by the looks of things there will not be any young Girls left by the time I get Home, and I am not going to take any Old Flapper that may be left. – The latest joke in Musketry is a Frenchman in my class. I asked him why he took a 6 o clock aim, (ie. the lowest central position of the target) His answer was that it would be too dark at 7 and he was quite seriouis over it to.

I think this is all I can think of just at present. Wishing to be remembered to all the Kind friends of Norwood, Mrs Irwin and Family.

Good Bye for this time

W.J. Stares.

Original Scans

Original Scans

Stares, William James. Letter. July 21, 1918 Stares, William James. Letter. July 21, 1918 Stares, William James. Letter. July 21, 1918 Stares, William James. Envelope. July 21, 1918