Search The Archive

Search form

Collection Search
Date: July 19th 1916

Hope Ward
Edmonton Military Hospital

 July 19th, 1916            

 Dear Mother,

 Am going to write you a few lines tonight and tell you about some of the things which go to make up the life of a wounded soldier.  I managed to get down to Eastbourne to see Will yesterday.  He seemed very cheerful and picking up again physically I think.  They say his leg will heal up to be as strong as ever so I guess he is not nearly so badly off as he might have been.  He seemed to think he would be all right in a few weeks but I think he will likely not be ready to go back to the front until next spring.  It takes a long time for the shrapnel wounds to clean up.  I only had small ones in the back and there is one of them not even scabbed over yet.  But it doesn’t bother one any and is gradually clearing.  There are some chunks of shrapnel still in the wounds

 July 20th Had to stop and get to bed here so now it is the middle of Thursday.

 All the patients in this ward who are allowed to get out of bed were given a park pass yesterday.  That is we were allowed out from 1 to 7 p.m. but had to come in for tea at 4.00.  I had got a letter from a lady who visited the hospital some time ago, telling me about a Shakespeare revue at a secondary school from 2 to 4 p.m.  It was only 20 minutes walk from the hospital so I went there and I am enclosing the program they gave me.  It was very well carried out too but the fun of it was I was the only wounded soldier there.  A wounded soldier is dressed in light grey clothes with a bright red necktie, so you see he is a very conspicuous spectacle.  The name of the part of London is Edmonton so when I went in the head master introduced me in a very flowery way by telling that in Canada there was a place called Ed. And from Ed. in Can. came a school teacher to fight for his etc. and he got wounded at Ypres and was now in their presence etc. etc.  There were about 200 of them and they gave me 3 rousing cheers of welcome, so I had to get up and thank them and say how glad I was to be there etc. etc.  It was quite a job for me.  I was blushing clear down to the soles of my feet.  When I got through the applause was deafening and I seemed to be the center of attraction most of the time I was there.  Don’t know that I want to go through an ordeal of that kind again.  I wish I could get into events of that kind incognito.

 But the best of it was after.  When I had had my tea I got out on the street again and had only gone about a block when I met some of the school girls and they stopped me and shook hands and all talked at once for a while and finally the best looking one asked me to go home with her.  So off I went and had some strawberries and tea and when I had to get back to the hospital she came with me.  She promised to bring some of her friends and come to the hospital so see me sometime.  Also have a standing invitation to their place.

 22nd This letter is not finished yet so I guess I had better stop now and mail it.  I have not heard from Will or Eugene since I saw Will on Tuesday.  Had my back x-rayed this morning and will know tomorrow if I must have an operation.  Hope it is not a bad one if I do.  Hope you are all well and happy.

 Loads of love to all,
Your loving Son,