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Date: June 9th 1918

B.E.7 France

June 9, 1918

Dear Family,

I made an awfully good hand to-day; four post cards from Mother, four letters from sister Mary Ann, two letters from Father and a letter from R. Craigmyle. Earlier in the week I pulled in another from Marion and one from Clarice P the brilliant young pupil of Arthur Blight. The letters are dated variously from March 17 to May 10 and some of them, judging from the appearance of the envelopes have had a hard time finding their billet. However, in getting such a packet at once, there is compensation for weeks of disappointment when they failed to arrive and such a lot of news from home has acted wonderfully as a cure for one of my periodical attacks of insanitas militaris which does not mean a mania for things of a military nature.

Now you have given me such a lot of gossip about that I really think this letter may reach a tolerable length. I am sitting out of doors with the pile of letters before me and I shall take up each one as it comes and use it as a source of inspiration.

Marion, Milton, Mar 16 – So some of the Doll and Bab tribe still actually exist. I thought the tribe was extinct. How were you billed for the performance? Something like this I suppose – Extra Special Attraction! One Night Only! Engagement extraordinary of the celebrated child elocutionist Miss Marion Haddow of Toronto (sometime pupil of Dr. K. of the Y.C.M.) in specimens of dramatic elocution!!! Give a little towards a worthy cause! Do not fail to miss such a treat! You will be satisfied after the performance!

Father Mar 31 – At last I have solved the Farmer mystery! (It has started to rain – hence these tears) You see I got all the data backwards Harold is certainly a lucky fellow and I envy his [?] with all my soul. You all seem very much taken with Miss F. I didn’t become sufficiently acquainted with her to form any opinion.

Marion Apr 14 – What a great idea going to church at the end of the service! Is it fashionable in Canada now to go in as late as that? You seem to have become acquainted with a lot of people whom I don’t know at all. I forgot all about the boxing in the absorption of greater interests. Being a featherweight contest it was a very mild affair. My opponent was as much of a novice as myself and we both took it very easily. I lost the bout. In fact being so extremely short winded, I just managed to stick the three rounds but the other chap wasn’t much better off. I was glad the decision was given against me as I wasn’t anxious to go on with the contests. If all the ‘Fre[?] Frizzle’ is as bad as the excerpt you sent me, it must be quite a minor horror of the war. You seem to forget that if I meet Haddow I won’t be able to speak with him or to Harry J either.

Same Apr 17 – You and Grace ought to become good nurses. G as you say is unspoiled. She is too shrewd to get spoiled. Has she improved any in her looks?

Same Mar 13 – Very interesting about Hartley meeting Beryl. How did he get to know Avis S? Hope he doesn’t get any wrong impressions. Sometimes people like to foster them. I have three compassionate young ladies writing to me now, B,C, and J. Next to the family letters I think I enjoy J & B’s more than any others I get. She is a nice girl and has quite a sense of humour. In some respects though, it is much nicer to have friends of the opposite sex at a considerable distance. So Harold, the old stick, appeared in uniform! I should have thought he’d have jumped out of it the minute he got home. By the way what has become of Tannahill?

Mother Mar 27 – Haven’t got box yet, Mother, but am looking out for it.

May 3 – Was interested in news of the Hamilton boys.

May 10 – Glad to hear to you are building up your health out at Palms, Mother. You will have quite a fine country place out there when Will and I come back. No need to send any bags though Mother as I have [?] with dishes long ago. In France one east out of a mess tin. What funny ideas you people have about the army, and of necessity I can tell you so little about.

Mar 18 – couldn’t make out about Agnes F getting her “nine kittens by day.”

Marion May 8 – Hope your little [?] came off quite successfully.

Father Apr 28 – How strange about Harold P turning up in Toronto? Was interested to hear about Cecil M. Think Billie is rather a pretty name.

I have had to move so many times since I started writing this letter that I have lost some of my mail, in particular Ronald’s letter. Ronald is a nice boy and means well. I have no doubt he is an excellent airman. In his letter he said that the red white and blue would float in company with the tricolor down the streets of Berlin. He must be a good aviator. In a letter from Dorland written sometime in March which only reached me yesterday I learned that Jim Stalke had been sent back to England for an operation on a tumour in his side and was (at the time) in a Manchester hospital. He was then however well on the road to recovery. Of MacNabb I have had no news for ever so long. I heard a while ago that he had been badly wounded but the news was never confirmed. I think it likely though, that it was true.

Ever so much love to all the family and to Aunt Mattie,


Original Scans

Original Scans