My own darling Wife.
I have been very sick now for several weeks but I am thankful to say that I am getting all right now, I have left the hospital & am now at a convalescent camp, I very nearly made England, but got passed for this camp instead, it is a funny thing, Bob Griffiths was in the same hospital & was walking about while I was still confined to bed & he got sent over, he came & told me about it, needless to say he was pretty well pleased with himself, he had shell shock too, some people do have all the luck, here am I after doing 14 months in the trenches & he has only done 3 or 4. I still have to stick it & he gets out of it, it is enough to make a fellow swear. I expect I will be sent to the Base detail camp to-morrow & from there I will go to the Base, I dont expect I will stay there very long before I get sent up the line again, there is one thing, I have had a good rest, the best I have had since I came out here, the only thing I am afraid of is that my nerve has gone, I am very much afraid that I wont be much good now in the trenches, I am far too shaky, but perhaps it will work off, I am sure I hope it does, as I would hate to be like this all the time. I have not had any letters from you now for a long time, I wrote to the battery to send my mail down here to me, but none has arrived yet, needless to say, dear, I am very uneasy about you all, for I know that you must be worrying, & the last letter I had from you, George was just getting over the measles & Eileen was just sickening for them, I am very anxious to know how you all are, I do hope the children are better & that you have not laid yourself up with nursing them, for I know what you are, you will take no thought for yourself at all as long as they are poorly; I do hope that I will get a letter soon & some papers as I would like to hear what the Vernon News has to say about the CMRs, I am afraid there will be a lot of aching hearts in Vernon this Summer, a goodly number of her men have gone under, but I suppose they will soon be forgotten, I have not got very much to say, dear one, as news is very scarce here, I guess you have it as soon as we do, I believe the big advance is on at last, pray God that it continues, for it is the beginning of the end, with the Germans being pushed on all fronts by good steady fighting, they will soon have to give in, & the sooner the better we shall be pleased. I dont expect to go back to the trench mortars when I get sent up the line again, as my place has probably been filled, I expect I will have to re-join my battalion again, but of course I dont know yet, at any rate I am not very anxious to re-join the trench mortars, as it takes considerable nerve to handle them & I am afraid I have lost mine, if I go back to the battalion I will probably have to revert back to sergeant, but that will depend on whether they have a vacancy for one of my rank or not, but I am not very particular, I seem to have lost a whole lot of interest in things, I dont feel the same as I did, & when I look back at that last night in the trenches, I shudder & wonder if it was a bad dream, or if it was real, how on earth did I come out of it alive, I cant understand it, death was sure busy with his scythe that night, but he missed me with the blade & knocked me down with the handle, that is how near to it I was. There is one thing I must tell you in this letter & that is about the hospital, they certainly do know how to treat one there, the doctors are the best in their profession & it is marvellous the amount of care & trouble they take with each individual case & they have hundreds to look after every day & as for the nurses, I cannot speak too highly of them, they work hard & their work is most fatiguing, but they are always cheerful & they are always there when you want them, I will never forget their kindness to me, at times I was a bit delirious & when I came to myself, the sister was always there & she looked so cool & clean & cheerful that she made me feel better right away, & now in this convalescent camp, everything is done to make one forget his troubles, we have good beds in large tents & the grounds are all laid out in nice walks & flower beds & every thing is so neat & clean & comfortable that I will be very sorry to leave it, I just dread the thought of going back to those dirty wet & verminous trenches again after being in this nice clean place, but I suppose I will have to put up with it & make the best I can of it. And now dear love, I must close as I think I have run to the end of my news, kiss my little darlings for me, love, & give them both a great big love from their old daddy & dont you be worrying about me, dear, I am all right now & doing fine & am expecting to get a good long letter from you soon, so with all the love in my heart to you, my own darling wife, I remain as ever, Your own loving Husband.
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Jack XXX