May 24 - '17
Mile End Military Hospital
My Dear Ones at Home, -
It will be a week tomorrow since I came up to London. I am sorry that I have been so long in writing, but as you can see, it is quite a task.
I am in a good hospital here. Every thing is very clean and comfortable and pleasant. The nurses are English, and are very kind. My wound is quite healed up now on the outside, but the hand is still quite painful, owing to the severed nerves and muscles. The little finger, and the one next to it are useless and I cannot straighten my arm out from the elbow. Every morning I have it massaged from the shoulder to the finger tips, and also treated with electricity. They have a special staff of women hire for this work. It is the same as Nell FitzGerald does
Frank & his wife & Madge came over on Sunday P.M. and we had quite a nice little visit out in the grounds. They brought over cakes & candy, & when Frank was leaving, he handed me a pound note.
On Tuesday morning Frank sent me a letter saying that he would be in the city that P.M. and told me to meet him at Aldgate. I took the tram to Aldgate, where I met him, and he took me around to different places of interest - down along the Thames wharf, across London & Tower Bridges, and around the tower.
We are allowed out four afternoons a week, for four hours. On Monday I went for a walk down Mile End Road through Whitechaple, and also took a look down Petticoat Lane. Tomorrow I am going over to Franks for the afternoon.
Monday is a bank holiday & both Argyle and I are going over to Franks for the P.M. I have not seen Mac yet of course he is quite a distance from here.
I had a very enjoyable time down at Eastleigh In the afternoons and evenings I would walk into the beautiful beautiful country, along the roads, winding between the green hedgerows - past the apple orchards, so lovely and sweet scented, covered with great masses of white and pink blossoms - past great clumps of lilacs, and green meadows where the cows and sheep were grazing, and I heard the skylark singing. And when I felt tired, I would lie in the grass beside a stream, and watch the trout, and listen to the cuckoo calling in the trees and hedges. I never enjoyed any thing more than those walks. After France it was Heaven.
And yet with all the beauty and comfort and pleasure of Old England, I could never be satisfied. I will not be content till I am back on the prairie again. In France I longed for England, now I know that it is Manitoba that I want, and my own little Mother and Dad and Dorothy. I want to saw the wood, and tend to the horse and week the garden, and hear mother call from the back door that dinner is ready.
It is so long since I have had a letter - weeks and weeks. All my letters that go to France will be sent on, but it will be two months before I receive any of them. I will have letters direct to here, before I get them from the battalion.
Address my mail c/o Frank, i.e No. 3 Oakington Rd. And be sure to send the £5. as soon as possible, payable to Frank.
I that that is all I can write tonight, as I am tired, and it time for cocoa
With a world of love from your boy
P.S. Send over a bunch of good snaps of the family, to show Pecovers, and some Wpg. & Manitoba Post Cards.