1st Canadian Trench Mortar Btrys
1st Canadian Division
My own darling wife -
I have been expecting to get a letter from you for several days now, but have been disappointed, I got a parcel from you with the razor blades & shaving soap & rum, I had quite a joke with the rum, you know you had it in a sauce bottle & I never thought of smelling it to see what it was, so at dinner time I put it on the table & told the boys to help themselves, one of them poured some of it on his meat & he discovered what it was, needless to say we had a good laugh, there were only three of us, so we all stood up & drank your health & the childrens, & wished you a long life & a happy one & a speedy return of your old hubby; we ate all the shortbread at the same time. Now that I have got settled down in my new job, I like it fine. It is nice to be a Sgt Major, I have a much better time now than I had had since I came to France, I am at headquarters now all the time, & I have a nice hut all to myself with a bunk in it & a table & chair, & I have a man to look after me, he cleans my boots & shines my buttons for me & gets my shaving water &c, so you can see dear that I am pretty comfortable, all I have to do is to call one parade in the forenoon & take in the reports at night, all the rest of the time is my own & I can go where I please. I am so glad dear for your sake that I got the job, because now I certainly have a good chance of getting home alive; up till now the chances were pretty slim, the only thing that bothers us here, is aeroplanes, & they drop bombs on the villages round about, but they never seem to get near our camp, so we dont worry an awful lot about them.
We are having beautiful weather here now, it has got very warm & everything is drying up lovely, it is a treat to get away from all that beastly mud, everyone here is glad that the winter is over at last, it sure was one awful time, I must be a great deal stronger than I thought I was, or I could never have stood it, many a time I thought I would have to give in, but I managed to stick it all right, as it is I am afraid I will feel the effects of it to the end of my days, but so long as I pull through I dont care what the aftereffects will be as long as I get home again; I wonder if you have got my photos yet, & if you like them, I have not heard from Etta lately so I dont know whether she has sent the rest of them or not, I am going to write her to night & find out.
I do hope this letter will find you feeling better, dear, I was so sorry to read in your last letter that you were so poorley, surely the cold weather is gone now & you will have a chance to recuperate, I am afraid you must have had a hard time this winter, if I could only have been at home to help you, it would not have been so bad, I am sure dear that I will be with you next winter, as everything points to an early conclusion of this war, German prisoners are coming in every day in large numbers, most of them are starving & seem glad to be captured & there seems to be a feeling all round that it will all be over in a short time now, I am sure I hope so dear & I know you do too, would’nt you like to have me home again, sweetheart, that will sure be a great old day, dear, when I pull into Vernon again, Canada will look mighty good to me when I see it again, after all dear, there might be lots of nice places in this world, but there is no place like home, the very sound of the word makes one feel homesick, many & many a time I have been homesick, dear, & have even cried at night, when I thought of you & our little darlings all alone & so far away, & the thought that if anything would happen to you would break my heart, I would not want to go back if you were’nt there, it would’nt be home to me any more. I hope that if the children have caught the measles that they are well over them by this time, & if there is no hurry about getting their adenoids fixed up, I would wait if I was you till the weather was warmer & you were feeling stronger, I dont want to see you laid up, dear.
As usual, dear, I have not much news for you except to tell you that I am still keeping well & am anxiously waiting to get a letter from you. Give George & Eileen a great big love from their daddy & lots of kisses & tell them I will send some cards the first chance I get. And with all my love & kisses to you, my own darling wife, I remain ever your loving Husband.