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Date: September 8th 1915

[8 September 1915]


Dear Dad:-

I was very pleased to receive your letter and Grandma's came on the same day. We started our study and regular classes to-day. We also had our first riding lesson this afternoon. All we did was to learn how to hold the reins and how to mount (we did not have saddles but thin felt pads). There is something very important I have to tell you but for goodness sake do not mention a word. Only tell Nen and no one else for I think it is being hushed up. The first week up here was awful! We were slammed around and made do menial duties and all the rest of it. We took it all right as we thought it was coming to us but after a while we learnt that a recruit coming in the first week has that week off and cannot be made to do other things than his duties. The fellows who were here had most of them come in just last Christmas and so were still really recruits. They lost their heads completely and went too far. One fellow, a Frenchy wrote home to his father, told him of the things which he was made do and the result was that his father came up to the college and withdrew him from the college after reporting the matter to the commandant. The commandant immediately held a court of inquiry, had the first six of the recruit class up on oath and questioned them about what was happening. The whole affair came out then and two seniors who were non-com's were reduced in rank. He then had all of us up and told us that we were not to do any more "fagging" and ordered us to report any "hazing" that went on. In the regulations it says that this is not allowed but it has always been more or less the custom. The staff have been trying for the last few years to cut it out and as [words missing] the biggest recruit class ever [words missing] as there are only about 35 seniors [words missing] that this year is a good opportunity [words missing] taking steps accordingly. The whole [words missing] will be reported to Ottawa and will probably be up before the House of Commons soon. We are not kept on the jump so much now and are not woken up at all hours of the night to amuse the seniors. Last week on account of us not getting enough sleep about ten fellows fainted and hardly a drill passed without someone keeling over. I myself was all right and kept up all right but the others had a rotten time. However it is all right now so you need not worry about me as I can take care of myself. For goodness sake now don't repeat a word as if this got out I would have an awful time. I thought you ought to know this or I wouldn't have mentioned it. Yesterday a whole bunch of us were vaccinated and I am hoping mine won't take. Love to all & write soon