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Date: September 7th 1917

4 Squadron R. F. C.
B. E. F France


My Dear Mother.

It takes such a long time for letters to come and go, that one can scarcely keep track of things. However I take it that you will be home by now, and I hope that you will feel ever so much better for your trip.

From the snaps and letters I am sure all have had a good time. You can't imagine how glad I am that you have had the trip. I am sure the change will do you good even if you are tired for a time you will benefit from it later on. And the winters are so long and cold that one needs some preparation for them.

Your last letter was so bright. I like to hear that you have been boating and fishing. There is really nothing like it to keep fit. If I could spare the time, that is just what I would do. And I don't know of a better place to enjoy oneself than Minaki.

I didn't have such a whale of a time while on my leave. I did enjoy the first few days in town as it was such a change. And then both Harold and Gordon Jones were home, and we had some good times in town. Then I went north to Manchester. It was rather a sad occasion on account of Mrs Hull's death, but I am very glad I went as I may have cheered them up a bit. While there I had quite a chill and it was some days before I felt right again.

Poor Mrs Jones was very ill all the time but she did everything to make me feel at home. She was quite worried about something all the time. Then when I went to Birmingham I missed the man I wanted to see, but saw one of the boys from this squadron who is in hospital in Birmingham.

I went to Chatham to see Mr Reade but we missed each other by a fluke, so that I spent a whole day, and six hours on trains, all for nothing. I was greatly disappointed.

On the whole I was glad to get back and am quite contented with this place. And I am feeling much better than I did when on leave.

I had a skin rash (eczema) while on leave so went to the Dr He said it was due to eating too much bully beef and canned goods, but that all left me in a few days, and I haven't the slightest trace of it now. I could have had an extra week or two if I had wanted it, but somehow I can't settle down on leave while this job is on. It's not that I do so much, but I like to feel that I am doing something. I want to get the next 3 or 4 months over, then I will be through the worst. After 8 months over the lines you get nicer jobs to do and the new men get the dirty work. But I have been very fortunate in my work. Also in my flight commanders. I think I do my share of the difficult jobs and I think I have as many scraps as anyone else in the squadron. I have had 2 this week so far. One was not worth mentioning as we just fired about 30 rounds into each other and then dashed off.

The other one wasn't so bad. I just turned in time to catch 3 Huns diving on my tail. We drove them off quite alright but they then dived through the clouds and before I could get a crack at them they had brought down one of our machines, killing one and wounding the other. They were scouts and had too much speed for me.

I am having my tooth fixed at last. I told the C. O. that I hadn't time to have it done while on leave. You remember I had it broken nearly a month ago when I was shot down in the French lines. My observer still has a nasty gash on his chin. and is not flying at all, although he is going to fly tomorrow I think.

You will be glad to know that Alf is O.K. now. I hope you got my cable O.K. last week. Marjory said they sent it but they would not accept Mount Forest, so she sent it to Toronto. I received a cable from Toronto 3 days ago saying that Alf was in No 7 hospital but I had been down to see him 5 or 6 times before that so it was alright. I expect G. F. sent the cable.

Alf is so well in fact that I am afraid his trip to England is off as the Dr could not recommend him when there were so many who were worse. However he will have a good rest at a convalescent home at the base. He has no doubt written you to tell you how he is getting along.

Had a letter from Mrs French last week. She is going up north to visit as she is sick of Folkestone. I think she is worrying about her son all the time. Both she and Capt French are fine people and they did everything possible to make my stay in Folkestone most pleasant.

Must close now as it is tea time and I am hungry all the time now. Hope Father is keeping fit. You will both be glad to be home together again. Kindest regards to Miss Smith and much love for Father and yourself.

Loving son.

Original Scans

Original Scans