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Date: October 24th 1915

Someplace, Belgium

Oct 24 1915

Dear Em.

Do you realize, my girl, that two months from tomorrow is Xmas Day. Well I do, and I also realize that unless something very unforseen happens, I will hold forth in this miserable joint. Cheer up, there are lots more Xmases, and I will be on hand for the next after this, to make up for lost time. I was quite amused yesterday to get a letter from Mother dated Sept 19th, telling me about a proposed motor trip to Toronto via Hamilton, after having received the week before such a good account of the proposed trip. It was a case of anticipation following realization alright. I think Alf was at [the] bottom of it as it was in an envelope addressed by him, and came with one of his stamped Oct 8th. However I am delighted to get them all, even if they are a bit "ould". And before I forget please thank Father for 'Saturday Night' and 'Post', both of which arrived in good condition, and are much appreciated by yours truly.

I am glad Mother enjoyed herself in Toronto, and it was nice that she could get Alf started in the right track. From a detailed description of the "hazing", he appears to be taking it all in. It will do him worlds of good. His letter takes me back about 8 years. Isn't that fierce, 8 years, a deuce of a long time. This business over here is all one big 'hazing', only on a larger scale, and no ice creams after it. At least there haven't been any handed about yet.

We are working very hard now. The trench life is beginning to tell on the boys already. Six days in trenches at a time. Very little sleep, if any. Never take clothes off, not even boots, some never even wash hands or clean teeth in that time, (no water for them) and always under a big nervous strain. Lots of them keel over when they land in for dental treatment. But they are splendid fellows, and are always joking and laughing about their hardships, and saying what they are going to do when they get to Berlin. Not many of them will see even Paris, I'm afraid. It is a pleasure to work for them. I was amused at a note I rec'd from one of the officers in the trenches. He was telling about being called out while resting in a dugout in side of trench. He says in part, I hurriedly got up and dressed (put on my cap) and beat it. His only additional dressing was his cap, as they always sleep in all their clothes. The rest of message, I'm afraid, would not pass censor, not even me. But wasn't it funny, dressing in such a hurry?

We have got our dandy little stove going tonight and are as comfortable as can be. The wind is howling outside and once in a while a big gun goes off and rattles all the windows in house. One could easily imagine a big storm was on, but there really isn't.

Has a nice horse back ride today. Garfat and I rode over to [deleted] to make our weekly report to our C[anadian] A[rmy] D[ental] C[orps] Colonel. We are expecting trouble pretty soon, that is with the English medical authorities, who are trying to take us over to their hospitals, but until it comes I won't worry about it. I know that the Brigadier will not let us go if he can keep us. General Ketchen is too good a sport.

So old Beta has been in town again eh? I wonder if she has located a school yet? She is one easy going mortal. Is Doug living in Wiarton now? Or was he just passing thru 'as it were'.

I saw by paper ('Rep') some time ago that Reub Thornhill married Flossie Roos. Wasn't that John Skales' old girl? Some girl isn't she? I mean rather a poor article.

Alf says he has joined some Officers Training Corps. I hope he doesn't take notion to come over here. At least not yet, nor as long as I am on the job.

Say, I rather have the bulge on you people at home. I don't need to pay postage while you pay double to make up for it. It is rather a shame, but such is war.

Garfat has gone to bed and is talking away to me about his fine garden at home. I never answer him so am hoping he will get sore and go to sleep. It is 11:30 PM so I must go too. This is an awful hour for me but it only happens once in a very long time.

Lots of love for all family and kind regards to Elizabeth.

P. S. Am feeling just fine as usual. W. H. G.

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