Moore Barracks Hsptl
My own darling Wife -
I would have written to you sooner but I have been very sick, the first operation was not very successful so they had to operate on me a second time, I think they have fixed me up all right this time, I have been up now for a week & they had me down at the Westcliffe eye & ear hospital for to have my eyes tested, they did not take very long about it, they said there was nothing wrong with my eyes only for a little weakness probably brought about by over straining at night at the front, they told me that I would probably be bothered always at night & that night blindness would probably set in if they were subjected to much more night strain but that I need not worry about them just yet, this last couple of days I have had an awful sore throat & I am very much afraid that I am in for a dose of quinsy, you know I was always subject to it till I went to Canada, if it does develop I am afraid that I will have to stay in hospital for a while yet, if not I expect I will be discharged out of here this week & will be sent down to the CCAC (Canadian Casualty Assembly Centre) for another medical board, I dont know what they will do with me, but I dont think they will send me back to France as the doctors here have marked me unfit for further active service, but I do expect to get a good job there, I know some of the staff sergeants there & they have promised to speak for me, they say there will be no trouble about it at all, I hope this is so as I am very much afraid that my chances for getting back to Canada are very slim, of course one never knows what might happen, they are sending hundreds back every week & I might get sent back to Canada, but I would not get discharged I would be sent back for duty, If I could only get that I would like it fine for then I would be able to get home once in a while, but there is no use trying to swing a story to these medical boards, they are all too well up in their work & if they catch anyone swinging the lead as the call it here, they send him right back to France, now dear one, I dont want to build any false hopes in you, but as you know, I was sent over here with shell shock, now they say there is no cure for that, I know that my nerves are no better now than they were when I left France, in fact sometimes I think they are worse, but what I want to get at, is that nearly all shell shock cases are being sent back to Canada, so you see there is a chance for me yet, at any rate, dear, you can depend on me to do all I can to get sent back home, but if I do not manage it, try dear and not be too much disappointed & dont let the children fret too much about me. I got four letters of yours to me from France, also one from Annie Shaddick, yours were all written in May & June & hers was written in June, she said that she expected to be coming to England very soon with Lady McBride so I guess there is no use answering her letter now, if I do happen to go to London I wont know where to look her up, so the best thing I can do is not to bother any more – I see by your letters dear that you have been having a hard time of it with the children, I am so sorry love, to know this, I cant imagine how you managed at all, it must have been awful to be cooped up in the house all that time & not be able to go out at all, I have just got two letters from you & the parcel with the cake & whiskey, but no papers or magazine, I am afraid the parcel with the compass is gone, but I hope it will fall into the hands of one of my old battery if there is any one of them left, it would have been very useful to me if I had been staying out there, but not much use to me here, I sure appreciated the whiskey, it was the first I had tasted since I had come back here, although I could have done with it lots of times, but I had no money, the cake was fine, we had it for tea here in the ward & there was just enough for a good slice all round, but we sure did enjoy it. I am glad you got the photos all right, I was going to write to Etta about them from here, but I have forgotten her name & address, I dont know whether I told you or not but my memory has gone back on me & I can hardly remember anything now that is anyway strange to me, I had also forgotten Mr Clarkes address, so I am very glad you sent it to me, I am going to write to him & let him know that I am in England. I will certainly get my photo taken full length as soon as I get out of here I will send them to you myself, so that there will be no mistake this time, I am enclosing a couple of snapshots I got taken here one morning by one of the sisters, they are not up to much but they will do in the meantime till I get better ones, the sister standing beside me is the ward sister & she is very good to us, the grub here is very poor & she buys milk & fresh eggs (they are 3/= a doz here) & vegetables & cigarettes for us out of her own pocket & I can tell you the boys appreciate it very much, she has a brother here who was wounded & had to have his right arm amputated, she is terribly cut up about it, her name is Uquhart & I believe she comes from Montreal, I told her I was going to send them to you & she said you would be jealous of her standing beside me, but I told her you were too sensible a little woman for that & that you knew me too well to be jealous of any one.
I see by your last letter that you are still anxious that I should not go back to France, you need not be a bit afraid, dear, as I never intend to go back there if I can possibly help it, but there is no use trying to appear crazy to these doctors, there are lots of fellows trying that game here now & they are being found out every day & getting sent back to France & getting punishment as well, you would be surprised to know the dodges they try to work, but it is no good, the doctors are too good for them, If I do have the luck to get sent back to Canada, it will be on the merits of my complaint & not because I can make a bigger liar of myself than some other fellow - Dear Heart, I am so sorry to hear that Eileen is so bad again, poor wee soul, she must have suffered an awful lot lately, it is too bad that Dr Morris did not fix both of them up right when he was at it, he might as well & saved the children an awful lot of suffering. Tell Eileen that Daddy is awful sorry that his dear little sweetheart is so poorly, but that she must not worry or fret, but try & get better for daddys sake. It is too bad that whenever their birthdays come round I am always so fixed that I am not able to send them anything, it is too bad, but I really can not help it, but as soon as I can get out of here & get some money, I certainly intend to send them & you something nice, probably from London. I see that McEwan has given you some Razor blades for me, I will be very glad to get them, dear, for I sure need them, but sweetheart, dont send me any more parcels, they cost too much & although I appreciate them very much, this is not the same as France & I will be able to buy what I need as soon as I can get around again. I have not seen Mr Mathieson since I told you about it nor have I seen his wife, I think what you say about her is perfectly true, she was more sinned against than sinning, & I think you were perfectly right to speak to Dr Morris the way you did.
We are having rotten weather here just now, cold & wet, I think we are going to have an early winter this year, Now dear love, I am going to close, I have not much more to say, like you I often think of those few days we had together in Victoria & it makes me wish we could have them over again, I wish I could be with you to-night love & feel you cuddling into me again the way you used to do, but alas, wishing is not much good, but keep up your heart, dear, I hope the time will not be long now till we are in each others arms again & then we will be happy once more, I know you feel this separation very keenly love & so do I, but think how sweet it will be when we get together again & how we will love each other & our children, dear love, when I get home again I will live for you alone & do all in my power to make you happy again & make you forget all the misery of the last few years, so, my own dear sweetheart, give our little dears George & Eileen a great big love & kisses from daddy & with all the love in my being for you my own darling wife I remain as always & for ever Your own
true loving Husband
I will write George & Eileen another letter very soon. J.