Search The Archive

Search form

Collection Search
Date: March 29th 1916
Beulah Bahnsen (wife)
Ralph Watson

8.30 A.M., 29 March, ’16. (Pay Day!!!)

Good morning, Lal! —

This is an awful time to be writing a letter to one’s wife — isn’t it! Guess I must have got it bad, after a strenuous night, looking after two wards of wounded men all by my lonesome, to start in to write to a mere girl — and that girl — my wife — Ye Gods! at nine A.M. of a morning! . . .

Say! the other day you said that we were all getting better for the war and a lot of stuff like that (excuse the description). I see where a large English Daily said that owing to the new stringent rules as to the supply of paper, they could no longer print the list of casualties in full. The next morning the paper appeared with about three inches of one column something like this: “Casualties 600 — 200 Dead—” and that was all. The whole of the opposite page was devoted to sketches and descriptive matter of a new — restaurant dinner gown! O tempora! O mores! What a state of mind the people must have who run that paper. . . .  

   By jove, I wish you could see some of the shops here! They are just spiffing — especially the cake shops, “specialty” stores, and jewelers. If I had some money I could just buy the loveliest things for almost nothing — The French sure know how to make pretty jewelry and wrought metal things.

Thanks to the British Navy, all the stores down town run just as usual. The flower shops do business, the meat stores have everything, also as before. In fact, you’d never know there was a war on, if you didn’t know. Also you never see a young man, and there are many widows. The Canucks are “O trѐs bon—la la,” believe me, with the Frenchies: more so than the other troops, for some reason.

Original Scans

Original Scans