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Date: April 9th 1916

London, 9 Apr/16.

Dear Ruth,

Your birthday letter arrived with all its love and good wishes, helping to cheer me up with the thought that perhaps you haven’t forgot me yet after all. Ever so many people wrote me to remind me of the 8th of April, and I was not entirely without birthday presents either, as Father and May have both sent me things, which have not arrived yet. Margaret Shaw sent me five cents, dear kiddie! I sure would like to see you in your new duds. Jennie Talcott told me all about them, and immensely becoming they are. I have a very vivid picture in my mind of Sister Ruth exhibiting her pretty frocks to the family the first night of her stay in Walkerton. May is sitting on her heels in the floor, and mother is in her little fat wicker chair, and both of them are giving little gurgles and squeaks of joy over everything that comes out of that great green trunk of yours; while the Pater is standing up with his head back a trifle appraising one garment after another and saying “Um-hm” as he passes his hand over the material. Oh, how I do wish I could be there next time you come home, and see all, including the new suit and "bunnit".

This new job of mine is mighty fascinating, and that to a certain extent is a compensation for the fact that it keeps me busy at the office from ten to eleven hours every day of the week. Sunday is no exception, of course, for aeroplanes fly and likewise "crash" on Sunday just as any other day. It is hard work too, and one can’t afford to go to sleep on the job for a second.

General Salmond is all that one could wish for in a C.O. but is not a man I would care to take any liberties with, for he sure has the reputation of being able to administer the finest "strafing" of any officer in the Corps. The brigade Major and the two staff Captains are all fine chaps, and mighty competent too.

I have a big room all to myself, about as big as your office I should think. I have two clerks, a stenographer and a messenger, and of course call-bells and all that sort of thing to help to get through the day’s work. It is quite interesting to see the way the allotments, transfers and write-offs of the aeroplanes are recorded. One wall of my office has a board nailed to it about 20 ft. long and 3 ft. high. This is furnished with hundreds of little slots into which are slipped small cards of different colors, each representing a machine, and written on it is a description and the number of the machine that it stands for. The board is divided into sections representing the different wings, and these in turn are didided into squadrons. The cards may be moved from one squadron to another to show when they have been transferred. A card is made out for each new machine received from the makers, and it remains on the board until the aeroplane is wrecked or until it goes overseas and out of the jurisdiction of the Brigade. The "moves" remind me more of a game of chess than anything else, and they need just as much care too.

Pete Wedd is a nice boy, and we get along splendidly. He is in the Canadian Contingent’s pay and Record Office and has rather a soft job I believe, with very good pay. My own pay is pretty small, in the neighborhood of 12s. a day I believe, but "I 'as 'opes" of an improvement before long. Monday p.m. when I was flying, I was getting about 15/6 per day. That "about" sounds funny, but it is one of the tragic things about this game that you are never quite sure what your pay is. They pay you 7/6 per day, and then there are extras of every imaginable kind, and the whole thing is put to your credit at [?]ox & Co. One’s pass book is consequently an endless source of mystery and amusement.

By-the-way, have you and all the rest of the family read Ian Hay's book "The First Hundred Thousand"? If not, get it at once, for it is one of the best things that has come out since the beginning of the war, with a mixture of humour and pathos which is very real in this big war.

I am feeling very unhappy to-night with a wretched sore throat and a cold in my head- my first since coming to England, and probably bed is the best place for me. Please send this letter the rounds of the family, Sister for it isn’t likely that I’ll be able to write again this week.

With a great heap of love, Dear, for yourself and for all the others too.

Always your fond brother,

P.S. Father sent the fur lined coat back to Canada with P.L. Robertson about a month ago. I thought it a good chance of getting it back to Mrs.Gorham.

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