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Date: October 31st 1916

Dibgate Camp
Shorncliffe, Oct. 31/16

Dearest Wife:,

At long last I have arrived here and am clean of the other outfit. I left Harold at 9 Oclock yesterday morning and arrived here at noon. We got a room together near the Station as I expected to catch the early morning train but decided afterwards that it was altogether too early to get up. I promised Harold that I’d try and get back for the funeral but when I got here I found that they had been waiting for me, in fact they had wired me at the Maple Leaf Club to report here Sunday, But I didn’t call there so missed the wire. I had to get certain papers fixed up right away, so I wasn’t able to get back to London, at any rate I was pretty near up against it for money, H. offered to pay my expenses if I’d come back, But he’ll need all his money, however I would have strained a point to get back if it had been possible. Well I’ll go up and see him again in a short time. Poor fellow he certainly is cut up, he was wrapped up in Florence, and they both had been planning so much for the time when they’d be in Canada, from what I’ve heard of her and seen of her work in her home I think she was a very fine girl she left everything ship-shape before she went to the hospital, every detail was attended to and ready for the expected arrival. Her mother is a nice woman, her father a sea-faring men, perhaps a little rough, but good hearted. I believe he & H. didn’t pull very well before Florence took sick, but while I was there neither he nor the mother could do too much for him.

Well dear girl I sent in my application for a commission today, but it may be three weeks or a month before I hear from it, and in the meantime I expect to take a course in musketry at Hythe, a few miles from here. It is kind of awkward coming into a strange battalion, as one has to make all new friends, but most of the boys have been very nice to me, even though most of them know what I’m here for. I eat in the Sgt’s mess, I slept in A’s room last night and will probably sleep there until I go on this Course, when I’ll have to stay in the barracks at Hythe. McL. and the bunch never even said good-bye to me the night I left, but the Sgt’s gave me a quite a send-off. Well, it didn’t hurt my feelings much, as I was too glad to get away.

There was a letter from you when I arrived and I guess there are a couple more at Ayhnen house. I haven’t seen Helen or the family yet, but will likely see them Sunday, they have moved into Folkestone for the Winter, but not the same address as before, I don’t know just what the address is yet. I also had a letter from Mother written from Montreal, I felt like bawling when I heard of the parting of Dad and Gordon, I suppose poor Dad’s heart is broken, Gordon is only a child and will forget quickly but it’ll take dad a long time to get over it. Well dearest girl I’m going to close for tonight, as I must write Mother a few lines, I haven’t written her for ages.

Lots of love and kisses
from your ever- loving
hubby- Bert.

Love to mother Geo & Hazel

Original Scans

Original Scans

Irwin.Harold.1916.10.31.01 Irwin.Harold.1916.10.31.02 Irwin.Harold.1916.10.31.03 Irwin.Harold.1916.10.31.envelope.front Irwin.Harold.1916.10.31.envelope.back