291494 Y.M.C.A Hqs'
Jan 12th 1918
My Dear - Dear Betty & Kiddies:-
Well this is the busy life, yet extremely interesting & it is well that our time is so fully occupied for it make the time seem to pass far more quickly. Here is the program of our week's activities -
Monday Evening = Sing-Song & address by Dr. Pidgeon of Toronto (Presbyt)
Tuesday = Wed & Saturday = concert by the "Gloom Chasers"
Friday = Sing-Song & address your humble servant
Tonight (Saturday) we have nothing on except our "Good Night" service, which is a brief service lasting 15 minutes, held at the close of every day - the boys gather around the piano, & we have a few of the old songs & hymns, a five minuite address & prayer, it is at this time especially that our thoughts flash out across the waste of waters, to the dear home-land & centre about our loved ones, so you may be able to imagine the nature & effect of such a service. I usually take charge of this. Of course through the day we are busy getting things in shape for the evening programs, & then also we have our Reading & Writing tent & Library to attend to.
Sunday I have a Bible class in the afternoon & evening a Sing-Song & service. For the past three weeks I have been living with a French family just across the way - they have been very good to me, doing my washing, etc. & refusing to take a cent in payment, shall be kind of sorry to leave them.
Just now it is not quite so cold but "oh my" the mud & the slush is fearful, & up to a couple of days ago it had been fearfully cold & lots of snow, the hardest winter our men have experienced on the Western Front.
We expect to be going back up the line in a few days now - one thing about the work I am doing now is - I shall have the opportunity to see more of the country as well as getting a more all-round knowledge of conditions etc. I have not heard anything re your application so I suppose nothing will come of it & I have settled down to work & wait as patiently as possible once more ever dreaming of the "Great Day" yet to dawn.
Have had no more mail since the 6 letters I received from you on New Year's Eve, though I hear that there is some for me at Headquarters. I'm afraid that my mail is going to be rather unsatisfactory always on the move, oh' Betty dear I received your parcel O.K. forwarded on by Bella it came in good shape & needless to say I enjoyed with my two comrades & the French friends your short-cake - fudge & fruit cake, you have certainly developed into some cake-maker, it was fine.
I would not bother with any more parcels sweetheart, though its very nice to have them. In my last letter I sent cards & a couple of pound £ notes, which I hope you will receive safely, I registered it. Also let me know if you are receiving the assigned pay 25$ alright. I hope there is no mistake.
You spoke of "Miles" in one of your letters, I don't think he will bother Emerson much when he returns, at least he will not if he has any sense of decency left at all - I can only say that he has not made good, & has what we call over here a "bomb proof" job looking after graves etc.
You can think of me as moving arround in that part of France in which I was wounded & things are much the same now as they were then. I hope that you are not having too hard a winter, surely before another winter comes round I shall be back. Must close again now dear. How I wish that I could be with you, to show you that which one can so poorly express in writing, that I love you, & yourself & the kiddies are always in my thought, God bless & keep you & fondest love & many kisses to you all