From 644539- Pte. W. J. Wood, Virginia Water Camp C.F.C.
To Mrs. W. J. Wood, Box 639, Midland, Ont. Canada, 23/3/18
My Dear Longtime Sweetheart:-
No letters of yours to hand to answer, but I know that if you are alive, there are some on the way; and I trust they are bringing the good news that my little wife and family have wintered well in spite of Artic weather and heatless days: and selfishly thankful that this severe winter has passed while I am away from home thereby lumping the two evils together and getting them over as one and at once. This has been the mildest winter of my experience: today and yesterday; like beautiful may days. I have lain out-side basking in the sunlight warmth both days in the afternoons.
Last night about midnight our sawmill went up in smoke and flame, all but that which remains as ashes and scrap iron. It is now four A.M. and the fuss is just over. This may ring in a few changes here, but I am still at my post in the orderly room.
Tomorrow will be the investigation: four night-men on duty and a girl who was visiting one of them at the time are in custody for the night. The O.C. had just sent me down to the mill to see why the electric lights were so dim, and while I was coming back to camp – a matter of ten minutes walk – word had been phoned up that the mill was on fire; Egham fire brigade had been warmed out and the men of our camp aroused. Everything looked to be O.K. when I left the place to return to camp. I will likely be called upon to say my little piece when the affair comes up for inquiry. At five this morning I am to awaken the men so that a day guard or squad of him shall relieve promptly the thirty that are now on duty.
I am wondering what difference this will make in our future activities, and whether a new mill will be built or the camp be broken up.
The papers say the war is on again on the Western front. I hope it is the final heat, and that peace will emerge from it.
It is difficult to bank enough sleep in the day-time to make it comfortable staying up awake at night see that scrawl here. Well I wilted down and my hand slid away into helplessness of sleep. But I must not sleep: not yet and five oclock will soon be here.
The light plant being burned with the mill leaves us very much in the dark, so that night duty will be a mirksome job. It is well that the sun stays longer with us each succeeding day. Well my girlie I must close up with a message of love and high hopes and wishes for my dear home ties far over the sea.
Your loving Hubby
W J. Wood