Pte. T.F. Townsend 530625
9th Canadian Field Ambulance
Army Post Office, London, England April 1916
The above is my permanent address. By the time you read this I shall be “Somewhere in France.” Where we don’t yet know and I shall tell you when I get back but can’t before. I hope that each one of you got my last letter. I had hoped you would have written me to the address I gave you when I sent that photo post card of “wife and I” just as I was leaving Montreal.
When the Commanding Officer gave the orders to prepare for the voyage on a certain day in the future there was no cheering because he went on talking but when he gave the order to break away we ran whistling like a bunch of school boys back to our huts. I am sorry we are leaving England for the weather which has been “rotten’” has cleared up and become warm and dry. Mud nearly all gone and as warm as early June in Canada. I had hoped to stay here three months but it has decreased to as many weeks. Otherwise a fellow might as well get into it as soon as possible. I have a good many hopes of coming out with a whole skin. I have heard of very few Ambulance men getting it since the great retreat of the Allies early in the war. If not, as far as myself goes, there has been many a better man get it. I am not worrying any myself so no else ought perhaps. I can’t say what my part shall be yet but two chums of mine and I are on Sanitary squad. Now this is hardly what I expected in old Barriefield days going around picking up bits of paper, orange peel and the like but securing pure water and making sure disease is not encouraged in the camp. I hope this will be permanent all through the war for I don’t look forward to picking up wounded and dying men though, if that comes, well I am ready. We had some practice at picking up chaps playing wounded and the like. I am ready for what ever comes and trust God for the rest.
I am feeling fine. Can eat three square meals a day and mind you they are far better than your soldering days. Things are quite clean and a plenty usually. They are more particular in these days than in those a few years ago. I am actually getting fat so that my waist band is too small for the contents.
Have you seen anything of my lady or heard of her? Now I hope you will write to me sometimes for I do want letters. We shall not have a chance to have very much pleasure but you can send in lots of letters and I shall enjoy them very much.
Please send on to the other fellows.