Sept. 17th 1917
Just arrived back from leave on today of all days your birthday. I'm darned if I knew what to send you so I cabled. Nen told me to in a letter but I was on leave when it came and only just got it now so she has nothing on me. I'm safe all right in body but believe me Picadilly has got this place skinned six ways. My letters sure do seem to get a lot of censoring so I'd better be careless or get into trouble. Altogether I had a swell leave spent an awful pile of cash and saw every show in town worth seeing and a few that weren't.
Sorry to hear Alex Young has made the great adventure with an English girl but trust she is O.K. I have met 3 that are darn good heads and darn good lookers and darn good muggers. It's much nicer to have a dame to take to a show than go alone and at present they are visiting all the Ottawa fellows I know in hospital. However, you know I'm safe as a church as regard marrying as I've 3 years anyway before I could and I must say, me for the Canadians every time.
Have a good bunch of mail and please tell Nen & Ella I got their letters O.K. and will answer them when I get a chance.
I sure wish I could slip and bust my thigh the way that lady did and work a Blighty on it.
Just the night before I left, (Saturday night) I met the bunch from R.M.C. 35 of them just landed that morning and saw Andy Fraser. He was looking great and told me you were all the same and I sure was glad to see him and hear all the news.
I suppose you'll have got the usual Birthday presents sox ties and snot rags. Glad to hear the boat is in such good shape but don't expect I'll be back next summer hardly. However, you never know your luck so! - Andy said Grey got home O.K. and was looking fine.
I hear that Hugh Billings went for 6 Boche and had a good scrap before being brought down.
Des. is quite O.K. a piece just scratched his eyebrow and I've got a letter here from him. He's somewhere down around here and I may run into him sometime. Well, I guess I'm the only one of the family out here fighting now and sure do wish we could put some guts into Shirley and Melville and any of the others left at home.
An awful lot of R.F.A. have transferred to the Flying Corps and I know quite a few. However, I'm sticking by what I took as they say Flying is an awfully boring business and you get fed up as anything at it.
Well Dad must close now with all good wishes and best love to Nen, Ella, and all the rest. Why didn't you give Paddy something to make him Puke?
No I'm not with the Canadians.