Sept. 12, 1916
I don't know what kind of a job I'm going to make of this epistle for I've been feeling pretty rotten for the last 24 hrs. but anyway - here goes.
We got another inoculation yesterday afternoon and it was a pretty heavy dose this time - as a result Hut B11 has every appearance of being a military hospital just at present. I was "sick as a dog" last night but am recovering now although my shoulder is mighty stiff. We don't have to go on parade for two days.
Your letter dated Aug. 16 was waiting for me when I got back from Edinburgh last Wed. I'm glad you made use of that address I sent - I didn't send it as a hint not to write that's certain. It's a pretty poor address though for it always takes a letter a week or two to get through the army P.O., they have so much mail to handle there.
Say, it nearly finished me when I read what you say about Scotty. I told Ine in a letter I sent yesterday that I hope he got through - it sure would be one on you & Mick & and the rest. I can't imagine him making it though.
So you went down in History eh? I thought it was Alg. you were afraid of. How did you make out with it?
Harry Bawden has been at Shorncliffe for a week or so, taking another course. He has been picked out along with 300 or so other officers to fill up vacancies in the Can. forces at the front, and expects to be in the trenches in about 6 weeks. I've no idea when we'll get there.
There have been some great rumors floating around here regarding the troops at Camp Borden. They say they've all been sent home on reduced pay as reserves. Is that correct? We hear so many things here that we never know what to believe. For instance there was a report about a week or so ago that the German fleet had been wiped out the British losing 17 cruisers. Of course there was nothing in that but it just shows what we are hearing all the time.
I had a great trip last week but didn't have time to get around as much as I wanted to. Still I sure did have a fine time. Lawrence & I with three other fellows went to Edinburgh a week ago Thursday night, arriving there Friday morning about 6.30. We spent most of the day in the castle and it is certainly worth seeing. There are a few troops quartered there now and civilians aren't allowed to go all through the place but being in uniform (and Canadians at that) we had the privilege of wandering around as we pleased. That's one thing we've noticed during our holidays - the Canadians are certainly well treated wherever they go. The only thing we couldn't do was to take snap shots. We met a young fellow returned from the front who knew the castle and he showed us all around. We saw Queen Mary's apartments, the window where her son was lowered in a basket from the walls, the old chapel etc. etc. - It was a great sight to see the soldiers drilling too. It's simply wonderful the way they carry out their movements over here - we never knew what soldiering was in Canada. The men in Edinburgh belong to the Black Watch and the Cameron Highlanders.
Friday night I went to Dorvel with Jack Matthews but the others stayed in Edinburgh till Sat. and then went to Glasgow. I intended leaving for Stirling Sat. night but they treated us so well in Dorvel that I decided to stay till Monday. I got this heather out on the hills while I was there. The hills sure do look great at this time of year - they're just a mass of purple.
Well Monday morning I set out for Stirling and put in a day and a night there. It's rather a quiet place but I liked it better than Edinburgh - the castle especially is much nicer. Well, I saw the castle (there is a company of the Argyle & Southerland Highlanders and some of the Gordons stationed there) went out to the field of Bannockburn, climbed the hill to Wallace's monument and took in all the other little points of interest.
Then on Tuesday morning I started off to see the Trossachs but you may imagine how disappointed I was when I found I wouldn't have time to get there and be in London by Wed. night. Of course the latter was imperative so the best I could do was to take a train to Loch Lomond. This is only 20 miles from the Trossachs but they can only be reached by coach and that of course is pretty slow traveling. But I spent three hours on the "Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond" so I didn't do so bad after all. Only wish I could have put in a week up there for it is certainly a lovely spot. We may get 4 days leave before going to France and if we do I am going back there again. Hope to go as far north as Inverness.
The only part of London I saw was the tubes but Lawrence spent a day there and thinks it is a great place. Those underground railways are the limit though - you hardly get time to draw your breath down there, everything is done is such a rush. The trains no sooner stop than away they go at full speed.
Say, what do you think of these snaps? They were taken with a Brownie box camera which Bob & I bought between us - 3 are time exposures inside our hut, and the other was snapped outside. I didn't intend having my tongue show up so prominently. Dick Brown says it looks as if I was getting ready to make a meal out of Murray (he's the other guy). I sent some more films to get developed so will send them on later.
And Charlie Hiles has got those photos done at last has he? I had begun to think he wasn't going to finish them but told Rose to give you one if he ever did. I didn't get a chance to see them of course after they were done, but I hope they're a little better than they usually turn out to be. I take such good photos (?)
Well one of the fellows noticed the no. at the top of this page and had the nerve to ask what title I am going to give the book, so I guess I'll take the hint and ring off. But I mustn't forget to tell you about the aeroplanes that flew over camp on Sat. & today. Last Sat. the fellow who brought down that Zep flew over camp at a height of about 500 feet. Today two more flew over but they were much higher up - above the clouds most of the time. They look pretty nice though sailing along through the air just like great big birds.
Well bon soir,
D Co'y 13 Platoon