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Date: May 16th 1918
Harold Dean

May 16 1918.

Dear Mother

It is not more than about three days since I sent you a card but I thought perhaps a letter would explain things better. You can see by the heading that I am looking around this island a little since I came back here. I have made up my mind to see more of it if I am stationed here for a while.

When I got to England via Hospital Ship I was put in hospital at Bristol. After seeing the doctor I found out I was fit for discharge so he let me go and gave me a ten days sick furlough. The Canadian boys in the ward advised me to go to Scotland and I landed here yesterday morning about eight o’clock.

We have very good quarters here and get good meals and plenty of them. Soldiers on leave can get more meat etc than the civilians can. We can get meat here three times a day if we want it

When I use “we” in my writing I refer to a Victoria boy who went out to the East in our company and happened to catch up to me at Cape Town on our way back. We have been together ever since and got away from hospital together. He has no friends or relatives on this side of the water and I am in the same boat bar one friend or friends

I called on a family in the suburbs here yesterday and sure had a fine afternoon and evening. The people lived in New West but left there four years ago. It took them about half a minute to recognize me and after that I was right to home. Walked in on them while spring cleaning with all the carpets up and house up side down. Of course they had all kinds of apologies but I wanted to help lay carpets etc and I soon convinced them I could meet friends as good in a barn as in a palace. Mary will no doubt remember “Nellie” who worked in Collisters during 1914 Spring and Summer. I met her Mother one night there at home so I thought it was safe to call on them here I expect to go again before leaving Scotland too.

The country here is very green and pretty now, such a change to what I have been used to lately. The room here in the club overlooks a park, which is just across the street and the “mound” with the old castle on the top is just behind the park. It present a fine picture and you have to see it to realize what a fine stronghold it has been in bygone days. There are many other fine old stone buildings here and yesterday afternoon, on my visit, I saw the oldest church in Scotland and it sure looks old but as it is stone it is quite solid.

Well Mother I had better close now and have some dinner. I will write again in a few days when I have seen a little more of the city Bye Bye for now with lots of love to all

Your loving son

[postscript added to top of first page: “Where is Howard Kitching? I thought I saw him in a snap of some soldiers at my friends yesterday H.”]

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