Wrote you last about the 21st
April 24th 1919
Dear Mother & Dad:-
I have more time now so will try and tell you all the news since I wrote to you from Estaples.
A draft was called on April 13th and another on the 14th and No 5th Div men were on either. [?] Goldie got paraded before the O.C and told him that we should have been sent right to England from hospital and explained it all to him and asked what he intended to do with us. That on was on the 15th and the same day we were both put on the draft to leave that night. That was the fastest piece of work of that kind I've seen in the army. I didn't go up with [?] Goldie, as I was on guard that day, but he spoke for me as well. That makes us even as I was the means of getting him to Estaples, I guess I didn't tell you about that. When I got discharged from hospital and found they were sending me back to the battery I was mighty sore and determined to keep away if possible, I had had enough of looking after males.
I got up as far as Estaples and got off there and reported to the base, the clerk there didn't know what to do with me but decided to take me in anyway. Two days later [?] Goldie came down and I went and met him and [?] him wise. We shouldn't have been sent back from the hospital anyway but it was an imperial one and I guess they didn't know just what to do with us.
We left Estaples about 6 P.M. by cattle cars and pretty well crowded.
We had a great time that night, I was lying in the center of the car, all doubled up, but managed to sleep a little till some one kicked me in the ear and I woke up just as someone else landed on my shins. I had to laugh when I looked around there was a regular barricade of feet around me including a pair leaning against my stomach. I decided to move and after a lot of squeezing managed to get my back against the wall and my feet in the center, which was better but still pretty cramped.
Nothing of interest occurred during the trip, just the usual French trip in a French troop train. [?] about half that of the [?] &S. sudden stops and starts, and long waits at different points. The country we passed through was rather pretty in fact the best I have seen in France. We went through Rouen, which is quite a big town, stopped at the station long enough to get in a row with some Frenchies over some coal and oranges the fellows had swiped. They robbed us at the refreshment bar though so I guess they deserved it. Arrived at Havre about 2 PM next day and marched about 2 miles to the camp guess I'll have to tell you something about the camp.
It was an Imperial camp till recently when the Canadians took it over for their [?] camp. It sure is a peach, the best I have seen so far, all huts, lots of good canteens where we could get Canadian biscuits, chocolate bars and tobacco, also lets [?] free movie shows and concerts, nice reading rooms and billiard tables in the " Y" and several places to get free tea and biscuits. The food was lots better than at Estaples and lots of it we had eggs everyday though they weren't always good, and also had been dinner.
I met dozens of fellows I knew there, fellows that had come over with me and others I was with at Witley and some I knew in Victoria. Ms Roberts from the P.O. was there, looking in good form.
Haure itself is quite a big place, one of the largest French seaports, I didn't go down town much but went around the docks, it was worth seeing: ships from everywhere and all sizes.
We were at Haure from Wednesday till Sunday, we would have got away sooner but they were waiting for a rough day, I guess, and they sure picked one, but I told you about that in [?] last letter. The day we were suppose to go, Friday, was a perfect day, not a ripple on the water.
We left Haure at 5 P.M. and got off the boat next morning about 7 o'clock, but I guess we arrived before that. Then we had our first real train ride for a long time. 3rd class carriages you know what they are like. Nice [?] seats, what a change from the French cattle-cars! We started about 10 and arrived at King's cross about 1 o'clock, after travelling from Waterloo through London on, tubes.
Stayed at King's Cross till about 4 P.M and had a wash, which was badly needed, and a walk around for a while, We had a fine trip up to [?], the country looked fine, everything was green and the day was perfect. England certainly is a pretty place, I realize it more after seeing those other countries. All the people were dressed up and going somewhere, it was [?] Monday, I felt as if I were on a holiday myself. I don't think I ever spent such an enjoyable Easter. Monday, it felt good to hear people talking in English again.
I expect we will go on leave about Saturday for eight days, I [?] to go to London for a couple of days and of course to [?], I would like to go to Scotland but guess I won't have time.
I understand we go to [?] from here for a few days and then to Liverpool. I don't know how long we will be here, but [?] be home early in June. I like it fine here but of course I want to get home as soon as possible.
Must close now hoping you are both in the best of health. Send my mail to [?] still.
Your loving son, Walter