Kent - Eng
My own darling Wife -
Xmas day & I am still in this blamed Hospital, oh how I wish I was well enough to get out of it, it is so miserable here, & I am sick of it all, of course everyone is kind & to-day there have been lots of visitors here, they come with the best intentions & think they cheer us up, but if anything they make me more miserable, have you ever been home sick? it is an awful feeling, I am that way now, I have just to close my eyes & I can see you & George & Eileen, as plain as life, sometimes you seem to me to be crying, at others you are laughing & having a good time, but I always think of you in Vernon, somehow I cant imagine you the same way in Vancouver, perhaps it is because I dont know that city so well; I wonder what kind of a Xmas you are having, God grant it may be a happier one than mine, I am able to be up now & can get along all right, but the doctor says I will have to stay a week or two longer yet, as the weather is so bad & it would not do to take any chances of a relapse, so I will have to rest content & do the best I can. We had our Xmas dinner in the ward, there was Turkey & Plum Pudding & Sweets & Nuts, but I was not allowed any pudding or sweets, but that did not worry me very much, after dinner the Visitors started to come in, mostly elderly women or young girls, they all try to be very nice, but they do ask such silly questions, they all brought lots of cigarettes which were very acceptable & some brought magazines & papers, to night there is a London concert party giving a concert in the big Hall, they are at it now, but I have no heart for it, I feel too lonely & I would much rather be alone with my own thoughts. The weather is miserable for this time of the year, it is raining all the time & it is bitterly cold, even here in the ward where there is a good big fire all the time, we have to have extra blankets at night to keep warm, I wish I was out of it & back to camp again so that I could get moving round some. I got a letter from you the other day dated June 28th nearly six months ago, it had been to France & then chased me around till now, in it you mentioned having just received the photos & sent one to Mrs Clarke. With all this talk of peace the war is still going on, bloodier & more awful every day, & it seems to me likely to go on for a long time yet, I am beginning to wonder if peace will ever come, so that we can get home again to the ones we love & cherish, to me, it seems a lifetime since I left home, I dont think anyone except those who are married, realise what it means to be separated so long, the agony of it & the long weary waiting, & then the children, they forget their daddys, they are bound to, we cant expect little ones to have long memories, they are bound to forget, & then I wonder, will they love me as much as ever when they see me again, will they look up to me, or will they look on me as a stranger, oh, these are wild thoughts but they will come into ones mind, one cannot keep them out, Surely I will be able to get home soon after this, I think I have done my bit, there are lots of younger men to carry on, it wont be my fault if I dont get home before the summer, I mean to try hard for it anyway, If it was not for you & the children, dear, I would volunteer for France again, I would much rather be over there than here, Of course there is danger there, but I think I would rather face that than live in England, it is much different here in England now than what it was before the war started, the people of this country are only beginning to realise now that there is a war on, they are beginning to feel now what it is like to have an empty stomach, in a few weeks from now every man & woman in the country will be engaged in some sort of national work, if they dont do it voluntarily, then it will be compulsory, the spending value of a pound in only 10/6 now, so you can guess there are not many luxuries floating around.
And now dear Heart what about yourself, what have you been doing this Xmas? did you have a good time, & did the children enjoy themselves, have you done anything yet about Georges eye, if so, has it done the childs eye any good, I pray to God that it has. How is the little man making out, is he a good boy & does he look after his little sister. & Eileen, how is she getting along, she must be getting to be an awful big girl now & about yourself, dear one, how are you making out, are you comfortable & have you all you want & are you happy, dear, all these things are on my mind all the time, as long as I am away from you I cant be happy, I seem to have a want all the time, things dont look the same to me now as they did when I was with you, sometimes I wonder what it is that is the matter with me, but I know that it is only lonliness & longing that makes me feel the way I am. Forgive me, dear, if the tone of this letter is not altogether cheerful, but I cant help feeling sad this Xmas day when I look back on the two long miserable years that have just passed, this is my third Xmas away from you, Pray God that it may be the last, All I want now in this world is to get home to you again, to look after you & love & cherish you & make it the one aim of my life to make you happy & make you forget the misery of the past. I will close now, dear one, as I have really no news, I hope & trust that this will find you all well & in good spirits. I will be expecting to get a letter from you very soon now. Give George & Eileen lots of kisses & a big love from Daddy & with all my love for you my own darling wife I remain
XXXXX as ever Your own faithful Husband
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Jack XXX