8th November 1914
This is Sunday Evg & is the first chance I have had to write since I wrote the P.C. on board the boat, about every 15 minutes they parade us for instructions of one kind or another & we could not leave barracks without orders. We had a pretty good journey here, but it was tiresome, Andy Campbell & another called Joe Tull got very drunk at Sicamous, they bought two or three bottle there & drank it all that night, of course they were sick the next morning & as they could not get a single drink since, they are still sick, they made themselves a nuisance to everybody & got called down for it, of course they will have to settle down now & behave.
We marched straight from the train to the boat at Vancouver, so did not see much of the city, but from what we could see from the boat it must be fine, I would like to have seen more of it.
The trip in the boat was fine & we all enjoyed it immensely except the two I mentioned, it took us 4 ½ hours to get across, it was calm but cold, but we did not mind that, we had a splendid dinner on board, served in the saloon, we had more than we could eat, so were well satisfied. We got into Victoria at 4-30 in the afternoon & marched out here, arriving here about 5-30. The place where we are camped is the Exhibition Grounds & we sleep in one of the buildings, there are about 300 men in this one & the other buildings are all packed, there must be over 1000 men here altogether, they gave each of us a straw mattress & two blankets, so I slept pretty comfortable, the food is very rough & there does not seem to be much of it so far, but probably it will improve & I wont be sorry when it does. : – later –
I have just been for a walk into the city with some of the boys, but being Sunday there was not much to see. I met Mr. Walton, who used to work at Campbells, he has a nice business here & is doing well, he was very nice & wants me to look him up soon at his place & I intend to do so if I get a chance.
From what I can hear they are going to be very strict here & we will not be able to leave the barracks without special permission from the officer commanding. There is to be another medical exam which they tell me is very strict, they turned down 100 men yesterday, it is principally the teeth they fail in & it is causing quite a lot of dissatisfaction as the men are quite fit otherwise, we will not get our outfit until we have passed the doctor which will probably be to-morrow or Tuesday, we will have to go to Esquimalt for it, that is where the warships are & is 10 or 12 miles there, if we walk it will take us all day, but probably they will take us in the cars.
Andy Campbell has lost his parcel, he had Brush & socks & shirt etc in it & I dont suppose he will see it again, he was in such a hurry to get it, that he grabbed the first parcel he saw without looking at it, when I went to get mine of course it was gone so I started to hunt for it & found it in his blankets, he swore it was his so I had to open it to convince him. he was pretty sore about it, but as I told him, it was his own fault he should have kept sober & not have been in such a hurry, so how he has nothing.
I think this is all just now, I may not get an opportunity to write again for a day or two, but dont be uneasy, as I shall be all right, but will probably be working hard. Give George & Eileen a great big love from Daddy & tell them that Daddy is thinking about them & loving them all the time, So dear, with very best love & kisses to you & them, I remain your loving husband
Kisses for you all