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Date: February 27th 1916
Beulah Bahnsen (wife)
Ralph Watson

27 February. (Sunday Evening)

My dearie: —

It’s Sunday evening. I guess our occupations are very different — Just the same we can talk in the same old way. Since I got your letter last night, I have felt great, all day. It’s fine to think that although so far away and on such strange work, I have my one real pal to talk to in the same old way, the one person who will understand thoroughly, and, I hope, sympathize.

I wrote last night telling you of the new condition of my work under quarantine. Today of course has been just the same round of work — if anything just a bit more interesting — as I am beginning to be entrusted with bandaging after the doctor has put on the dressings, and gone on to the next case where I have previously cut away the bandages of the day before. They’re all progressing very favourably. . . .  Gee, but they’re a funny crowd, those English! Their peculiar idea of humour and their conversation is the limit. None of them can get over the fact that the Canadians get “four bob and a tanner” a day. In the bottom of their hearts, they think that is the main reason we join. Not in a million years could they grasp it that these — McGill men and all — are not ordinary working men like themselves. One fellow said today in his peculiar North Country accent:

“T’ Canadians ain’t done nowt since Eeeps — ony road.” And another, “Aai, and got fower bob a day for doing of it.”

Some are grateful for every little thing; others won’t even say thank you for every possible attention. The only successful way to get on with ’em (and make ’em work) is to practise a philosophical kind of cheerful kidding manner. And, more you have to kid yourself. If you let things worry you or take any notice of them when they kick, your life would be hell. . . .

Original Scans

Original Scans