April 19, 1919
Well it is sometime since I wrote last but I haven't had much time lately. I'm still in Belgium as you can see but I hope to leave on Monday for the base and noone knows how long or short a time will be there. It is supposed to be 4 days. Then we sail for Southampton. Gee how I dread that 7 hours on the Channel. Coming over to France I was so sick that I dispensed with all the meals I had eaten before, that day. I hate the Channel trip just as much as the Atlantic trip and I do hate it. Before I crossed to England I thought I wouldn't be sea sick on a voyage, my supposition being based on such trips as from Halifax to Dartmouth and vice versa. But a trip like that is "no bon", believe me.
I've been separated from my chum, Smith, who went to Blighty with the 3rd Section as we won't get a leave together that means I won't go to Ireland as I don't want to go alone. I guess I'll go to Scotland. See Inverness and Aberdeen if I can and get into the Highlands again and then come back and hang around the "Smoke" a while. There are a couple of plays in London I want to see and a few other things I'd like to do, but I could never spend a whole leave there.
I am in the same place now that I started from 2 weeks ago. I moved to Rixensart to the 85th Battalion and when the D.a.e [?] left we were moved back.
I'll be sort of sorry to leave the village of Champles where I've been billeted since the 5th of January, for the people have been so good to us. The people around here are all "Wallons" and are very "allied" I mean in favor of the allies. The other class of people, the Flamands are very "un-allied." They would charge a soldier for a drink of water.
I never smoke cigarettes now since you sent that pipe. I think a pipe is better than cigarettes once you get used to it. I am smoking "issue" tobacco now & it is pretty rotten. But I don't smoke an awful lot anyway.
When you see by the Hfx papers that the 85th Btn is arriving at Halifax you can expect me. I have heard that we are not allowed to (telegram) cable ahead but that a list of units arriving is cabled and published so you had better not expect a cable from me.
Did you cable that money to Lloyd's bank England. I guess I'll need it pretty badly for my credit is very low. I have nearly 100 francs with one now but that is only about Â£3Â½
I sent a box to Mrs Dan Smith but I don't expect she will get it for it is a German helmet and the parcel is so undeniably the shape of a helmet that I doubt it will pass through the covetous hands of mail clerks in England, since I didn't have the necessary to register it Anyway it won't be a great loss and it may get there.
I think we will sail for Canada about the middle of May, perhaps sooner. Therefore will arrive between the 20th & 30th. However, not knowing, cannot say for sure.
I am wearing a dandy pair of high boots now. You have probably noticed them in that photo I sent home. I had hoped to take them to Canada where they would be just the thing for outdoors, but I hear that we have to turn them in and get low boots and putties. So I guess I am out of luck.
You won't mind, will you, if I go camping for a week or so in the woods this summer, as I would like a little [?] after a couple of years of continuous restrictions, before starting civil life again.
Well will have to close now,