16th Res Batt. B.C. Regt.
1st August 1917
My own darling Wife.
Just a few lines to let you know that I am still at this rotten camp, every day I spend here makes me hate it worse & worse, it has been raining for the last two days without a let up & it is water & mad everywhere & the rain is coming in through the roof of the hut, it is sure lovely & miserable, believe me, I have not been doing any drill now for nearly a week, instead I have been taking fatigue parties to different jobs, this last few days I have had a party at the Ranges, which is a very good job, all the men have to do is to raise & lower the targets & register, while I look on & check them, this suits me all right in a way but I would much rather be back at Sandling. I received a letter from you last Sunday, that is two days ago which was posted by you on the 2nd July. So you see it takes a month for a letter to reach me, in it you say that you are sending me papers & parcels every week, well dear, I am not receiving them, I have only had one parcel in months & only a few papers, I have had no papers from the Vernon News yet, but no doubt they will soon begin to come along.
I note with very deep regret, dear, what you say about Georges eye, I am more sorry than I can say, as I have been hoping all along that it would come all right, I never dreamt that it would become totally blind, poor little chap, it is too bad that he should be so badly handicapped so early in life, I only hope that he does not feel it too keenly & I am surprised too, to hear that Eileen still has adenoids after Dr Morris treating her for them, like you, I thought that he had removed them altogether, don’t you think it would be a good thing to get them both fixed up before the winter sets in, dear, then if they do catch colds they wont be so liable to take any harm, I wish I could get home to you again, dear, to help you, it must be an awful strain on you all the time & a worry for you to have so much responsibility in bringing them up, it seems to me now that it was a shame for me to go & leave you all by yourself & two children to look after, perhaps it would have been better if we had not had any, but I don’t know, I don’t think we would have been happy if we had’nt, it sure makes a home feel like home when there are children running around & I know, dear, that you always wished for a large family & perhaps if I had stayed at home there would have been more children by this time. I wish I knew if you are getting my letters all right now, it makes me so sorry to think that you should be so uneasy about me, when I am all right, I am looking forward to getting a letter from you to let me know that you are receiving mine all right now. I wish I could get away from this camp sometime soon, as I have not felt right since I came here, I don’t know whether it is the change or the surroundings but I don’t feel nearly so well or fit as I did when at Sandling, there is one thing I do know, the food here is not nearly so good as it was there, we seem to get nothing but hash or stew all the time & I nearly forget what it is like to taste sugar in my tea, we never get it here, of course I know that everything in the way of food is scarce in this country & very dear, but we pay 3d a day in this mess for extras which we never get, 3d a day mounts up to 7/6 a month & one would think that we could surely get a little sugar once in a while at any rate, personally I think that there is a little graft going on somewhere, for at Sandling we always had sugar & we had eggs for Breakfast every Sunday and we only paid 2d a day there, we can get eggs here too but they are 3½d each & if one was to have them very often the little money we get would not hold out to it. Well, dear, I suppose you have read in the papers that the British have made another big advance in Flanders I do hope they will keep it up & smash the dastardly Huns once & for all & bring this dreadful war to a finish, everyone is tired of it & wishes it was all over, & no one wishes it more than the soldiers, but of course it must be a peace with honour, it will have to be made a certainty that there will be no more war & the safety of our homes will have to be assured & this will never be till the power of Germany is smashed to the ground.
As usual dear, I have very little to say & no news, I know you are lonely, dear love, I am very very lonely myself & I know what it is, God knows how I am longing to get home again to see you all & get a fresh start in life before the best part of my days are gone, it seems to me a lifetime since I left Home & from all appearences it looks as if it was going to be a long time yet before I get back again, but of course we have to hope for the best, but I have been hoping so long now that I have nearly lost hope, all this, dear, makes me feel very unhappy & miserable & sometimes I wish I was back in France taking my chance with the boys of getting hurt bad enough to get my discharge to Canada, but the winter will soon be here again & I don’t think that I would be able to stand the rigours of another winters campaign in the trenches, however, who knows what the future holds out for us, surely there will be a good time for us yet after all we have come through, but my darling no matter what happens you know that I have always loved you honestly & that I love you & you only now & for ever. Kiss my darlings for me dear & with all my love to you, my darling wife & our dear children, I remain always Your loving Husband
lots of kisses for you all.