1st Cavalry Cadet Squadron,
October 5, 1918.
My dear Win,
Your letter of August 25th was forwarded to me here today. I wrote to you on my arrival in Blighty, but I see you had not received it when you wrote. I am a dashing cadet of the Imperial Cavalry School of the above heading. I have been here just a month and have seven more months to go. The school is supposed to be second to non in the British Empire, and believe me it is some joint. The course is run in two terms of four months apeice with three weeks holidays at Christmas, and I think that I could just do with three weeks about that time. The aiding instructors are of the cheapest quality, all either famous jockeys or steeple chasers. We are riding and jumping every day under the close supervision of these aforementioned gentlemen, and your riding is picked to pieces and criticised until you suit their fancy. Up until two days ago we were allowed neither reigns nor stirrups and had to go over six to eight jumps with folded arms and a prayer upon our lips. Yesterday, we were graciously allowed reigns, but our stirrups are still not forthcoming. But, unfortunately, riding is not everything and consequently we undergo an unbearable amount of dismounted drill which I have been familiar with for the last three years, and which will, in time, I am afraid, upset my mental equilibrium.
I am completely surrounded by young men from Eton, Harrow, and Rugby, most of whom are just having their first taste of the Army and almost drive me to distraction in their questions and views on life in general.
Bethune, who is a great friend of mine and who is incidentally brother of Jack Bethune, is here with me. There are about ten Canadians here altogether, and we are looked upon as some sort of curios. As our tastes and habits are somewhat different from our Imperial friends, there is, needless to say, a certain amount of friction. At times there is a distinct atmosphere of frigidity. But, being Canadians, we refuse to follow the ancient proverb: "When in Rome, do as the Romans do". We are not called by any special appelation, but are generally referred to as "Canada" or "Here comes the Dominions". My esteemed friend and compatriot "Sleuth" has filled his roommates with the most extraordinary tales of Canada. According to his description, Canada is a barren and wild tract of country, almost limitless in extend and covered with gold mines and fields of diamonds. The forests are infested with Indians of gigantic stature who swoop down upon the few wigwams, which constitute Toronto, slaughtering and massacring the inhabitants. Consequently Sleuth has reduced his roommates to a state of docility and he is looked upon as a species of half breed not capable of murdering everybody in their beds.
Your letter was very welcome and reading it brought me back again to the happiest days of my life. You said Mr. Marling was in Hospital, and that Ken was coming over. Is his hospital in London? Please let me know as nothing would give me greater pleasure than to see them.
[Capt] A.O. Lampman.