P.S. I asked at the P.O. for the paper you sent, but they told me that papers without stamps are not delivered, but sent back to where they come from, so I did not get it. J.
My dearest wife -
It was with much surprise that I learned from your letter that it was you who sent me the 2500, I had no idea who sent it & of course I never guessed it was you, as I didn’t know that you had got the Govt & Patriotic money, you did not say how much you received, I am glad you got the Govt money, you will receive it regularly now I hope. I am sorry to say that I have never got any trace of the money, nor do I expect to now it is gone & thats all there is to it, but if I ever find out who took it, he will find it the sorriest day in his life.
I am glad you had so many good things sent you at Xmas you must have had quite a feed & the children did get some toys after all, I guess they enjoyed themselves all right, did you get the toys I sent, they were sent by express, I thought the wee cups & saucers would please Eileen & the fire truck would please George. Griffiths got back all right, but he had no news to tell me, except that he had seen you & that he had a good time while in Vernon.
I spent New Years day at Johnnie Magees house & had a nice quiet time, we had dinner & supper & then he & his wife & two youngsters & I went to Pantages Theatre, he being a fireman can get passes when he likes, so it did not cost us anything, it was a good show & I enjoyed myself very much, the next day we went to his sister’s for supper & I stayed there till near 11 O.C. talking over old times, so you see I had a much better time than if I had been alone & known no one here.
We had quite a bit of excitement this week, they called for volunteers to go to France at once to reinforce the Princess Patricias Light Infantry, they wanted 10 men out of each company & the whole battalion volunteerd, of course they could not take the whole lot, so every company took a ballot, the names were put in a hat & the first 10 names drawn out have to go, they leave here next Friday & will go straight to France, but it will be a rush to get them ready, as they will all be sick for the best part of the week, because they were vaccinated & inoculated yesterday, you know we have all to be inoculated twice yet, but these poor chaps got two inoculations at once in the stomach & to day they are all doubled up as if they had cramps, it is bad enough getting inoculated once, but when one gets a double dose & vaccination on the top of that it makes a man pretty sick. I guess you will be glad to know that I was not picked to go, it is quite common talk round here that the 30th Battalion will not go to England, but I think we will, although we may not go for some time yet. we have been having beastly weather here for the last two weeks; it has rained pretty nearly all the time & the grounds where we drill are ankle deep in mud, we come in soaked every day which is mighty uncomfortable, we are going for a long route march to morrow, we are to leave barracks at 9 O.C. & expect to get back about 8 O.C. at night of course we will take two lunches with us, it is to be an endurance test & I am afraid it will go hard with some of the boys, especially Campbell, who has been drinking very heavily of late & is all shook to pieces, I dont know how he manages it, he goes down town every evening with Charlie Todd & although he has no money he always comes back drunk & the worst of it is, he is getting more quarrelsome all the time, he & I dont speak at all now.
We had a day this week at the Rifle range & did quite a bit of shooting, you will be pleased to hear that I was the third highest score, only two others scoring more than me, this is the first time we have done any shooting, but we are going to go to the range at least once a week now. I must close now, dear, as I cant think of anything more to say just now, except to wish you & George & Eileen a happy New Year & that you will always enjoy good health & take care of yourselves till I come home again. Kiss the children for me, dear, & with love & kisses to you I remain
XXXXXXX Your loving husband