Search The Archive

Search form

Collection Search
Date: October 25th 1916

#475465 P.P.C.L.I.
Hut 30, No. 1 Company
Canadian Reserve Training Depot
Shoreham, Sussex
Oct 25, ‘16

Dear Edna:

It is a long, long time since I have heard from you, but I cannot grumble because if I remember correctly there was one time when it was a long time before you heard from me. I have got over those lazy spells though now and if you will forgive me I shall never let it occur again. I have missed your letters very much lately and I really hope you are not going to stop writing to me altogether.

I have had two letters from Merril, the last one written just before he went to France. I know you will be kept in constant anxiety if he is going into the trenches. He did not say whether he was going as cavalry or not. I hope he is. You must let me know how he is getting along, and give me his address, although if I knew he was with the L.S.H. I would know his address.

From the above address you will notice that I am now in a new camp, and am supposed to be a real soldier again, not a convalescent one. As yet, however, I have not been issued with a rifle and equipment and I am in no hurry for them.

There is a new system of handling casualties now. Instead of sending them back to reserve battalions at Shorncliffe, they are all being sent to Shoreham, and Shorncliffe is to be kept for new battalions coming over from Canada. There are now four or five thousand Canadians here. When I came here there were only about 50.

This is a rather barren place except away out in the country. To one who has been brought up by the seaside though it appeals strongly, but we prairie raised stock haven't developed that love of the salt air, and we notice only the ice cold breezes that come floating over when we have our coats and caps off and our sleeves rolled up, doing physical "jerks".

I have been thinking a good deal about the M.A.C. this week and wondering if it was to open next Monday. I am afraid I shall not be so well posted on College affairs this year as I was last, unless my little Ninga friend has decided to go back this year and further, has not decided to cut me from her list of correspondents. I remember how interesting those accounts of College stunts were to me, and I shall never forget the familiarity I had with things going on there though I was thousands of miles away.

Perhaps you wonder that I have told you that you write the most interesting letters I have ever received, when I have told you that there is "another girl". Since you are more like a sister to me than anything else, I will tell you that the other girl is not an M.A.C. girl and knows but very few of the students who went there, and naturally her letters, while delightfully interesting, of course, are not concerned with any of the doings of the College or the students, and as you know I am very much interested in both of these. So perhaps I would be more correct in saying that the interest in the letters of my two correspondents is so widely divergent as to be impossible to compare. I have no desire to compare them anyway, only I want you to know that your letters are, have been, and always will be treasured in my memory as some of the brightest and cheeriest writings I have every received, and they have brought a good many rays of sunshine in hours that would otherwise have been very dull. I only hope you will write to me still.

I feel that I should have told you before that I loved another girl, but she knew all the time that I was writing to you, and Leslie knew I was writing to you so I thought it would not make any difference. I realize now that it was not fair to you. To tell you the truth, I was afraid you would stop writing to me. I hope you will forgive me. It is no use saying it will never occur again for of course it could not occur again. Some day - I don't know how long it will be - I shall be proud to introduce "the other girl" to you and then I think I may safely say that two girls whom it is an honor to know, have met. You will always be to me, if my hope is realized, what you have always been, a friend in whom the highest ideals of young womanhood are exemplified, and one whom I consider it a great privilege to know.

Tonight I am going to do something I have promised to do ever since I enlisted, and that is to write something for the Gazette. I am really ashamed that I did not write anything for Leslie last year when he was editor, after he helped me as faithfully the year before, but I could never seem to find anything in army life worthy of writing about. I intend this time though to write a narrative relating to my own personal meetings with M.A.C. boys since I joined the army, to tell the circumstances under which we met and I think if I do what I have in mind I can make a little fairly interesting reading for those who know the boys. Of course to an outsider there would be no interest in it at all.

I just learned a few days ago that Jim Brown was made a King's Corporal for distinguished conduct in the field. That is a promotion coming from the King that can never be taken from him, and was given him for rescuing men under fire in broad daylight. It is just like Jim. He is a prince of fellows, and I am glad to know his service has been appreciated. I am sorry to say though that he is still badly crippled and is at Epsom yet.

If you have not forgotten me completely, Edna, I would like to hear from you, even though I don't deserve it.

Ever your friend,