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Date: July 23rd 1916

Hope Ward,
Edmonton Military Hospital
London, E.

July 23, 1916

 Dear Brother,

 Just received your very welcome letter of the 18th inst. With enclosed letters from Nora and Mother.  You say you sent me several letters but the only one I got before this was the one with the 5 pounds in it.  I told you about that before if you ever got the letter.  This is your birthday and I wish you many happy returns of the day.  I don’t know of anything I can send you better than a letter so shall try to tell all I know and that is not much.  Should have written so that you would have got this on your birthday but I didn’t, so there.  I don’t know that I altogether understand all of you letter.  Do you mean that a bullet touched your head?  You want to be careful (as if one could out there).  The doctor in Bologne said the piece of shell that hit my bean went through the steel all right but bounced off the wood.  Had an x-ray made of my back yesterday and expect to have an operation in a day or two to remove some little pieces of shrapnel.  But I don’t expect much bother.   If an operation is necessary am going to try to do it with only a local anesthetic.  Was down to see Will on Tuesday and he was very cheerful, though he looked a little peeked.  This was what I expected as he had an operation the day before.  Just got a letter from him this morning and he seemed to be tired of being “babied”.  Says he will be crying for a suck next.  Am going to Henry’s this P.M. as I got a telegram last night saying Harry would be at home today.  Have not met him yet.  Was out yesterday P.M. to a “doing” for 500 wounded “heroes” at Woodgreen.  Well, just when I had found a jane exactly to my taste some bloke started blowing the fall in horn.  Nelson like, I put the telescope to my blind ear and had about two hours more of bliss before I was “found” by the police.  I tell you there was some cheering, though when I marched down the lane where the other guys had marched in fours some long-a-da-time before.  Guess the crowd was tired waiting for some form of excitement so when I came down all by my lonesome I got nearly drowned by flowers cigarettes etc.  Am getting used to that kind of thing now though.  I heard about a “Shakespeare” event at a Secondary School near here on Wednesday so went down there.  There were about 200 students and the program was very good but the worst of it was I was the only wounded soldier there and cut quite a dash with my flannel suit and huge, bright red neck tie.  The Head Master had to introduce me as a “hero” from Canada and they gave me three cheers.  It was very disconcerting to an individual of my retiring nature but I had to get up and thank them for their welcome and tell them how good looking they were and all that rot.  I think they must be specially instructed in the way of giving applause by how they roared and howled when I got through.  Had to go back to the hospital for tea at 4.30 and when I got on the street after I had not gone a block before I met a bunch of girls from the school.  They all talked at once for a while and finally the best looking one asked me to go home with her.  She can play the piano and sing like a lark and likes rowing in the park etc.  So I have won a homestead here I guess.  Don’t think from this that we are allowed to come and go as we list.  It is only by using my fertile brain to its utmost that I have managed to get out some where every day since I got out of bed a week ago Friday.  We are only supposed to have two half days a week.  Please excuse neglect to paragraph etc.  Making most of paper.  I  hope you are well and having an easier berth now.  Had a taste of your birthday cake and took some to Will.  Hope you get it all right and have a chance to enjoy it today.

 With loads of love,