291494 Y.M.C.A. Headquarters
My Dear Betty & Kiddies:-
For the last four days I have been trying to snatch time to sit down & write, but the rush of work, responsibility etc would not permit, & when I would get through, or rather when I had to quit from sheer mental & physical exhaustion you will understand how impossible it would be to write, this last month and as well as keeping the ordinary things going & preaching & speaking at night, I have taken stock & you will know something about stock - taking, & the balancing up your books after on a hundred & sixty five thousand Francs business for the month. I came out 29 Francs & a half on the credit side not bad eh, for a greenhorne eh? I have been highly complimented by those in charge of the Y.M.C.A. in France for the work I am doing -& I am certainly interested in it, & have the satisfaction of knowing that I am rendering a real practical service to the boys in the front line, so though the responsibility is great & the work never ending, yet this consciousness is in itself a splendid compensation, I often lave the opportunity of speaking to an audience of 4 or 500 men just out or just going into the front line. I am hoping that in a day or two I shall not be so busy, & shall try & write a letter more descriptive of our life & surroundings here before I forget dear, let me remind you to put "Canadian Corps" on my letters else they do not know whether it is the Imperial or Canadian Y.M.C.A. you last few letters have not had it on, & the parcels.
I have received all three parcels which you sent.
I got the hug-me-tight one day & the other two parcels the next = all together practically the sweater etc just came at an opportune time, & I am getting great comfort from it & the sox & scarf = the eats my how I enjoyed the bread & butter - what a change it was & the strawberries & cake were just delicious, then the thought of you my dear one, making & packing them with the darling kiddies helping, made the enjoyment greater as well intensifying my longing to see you all again.
The parcels came in splendid condition (the best yet) & both bread - butter & fruit were splendid, it was the first time I had tasted butter since I left Lady Tollemacke.
We are having some regular March weather now cold & blustery, but for the present I have a very cozy corner for in my quarters a little room 8 x 8 all to myself, with stove bed etc etc, so am pretty comfortable for a time service.
We are living from day to day on the eve of expectation - waiting for Fritz to make his much talked off attack - the other night or rather early in the morning I thought he had make a start for sure - for our guns large & small along quite a large frontage suddenly opened-up & for about two hours the noise etc cannot be described.
Mr. Fritz was just feeling his way here & there along the line but he got a pretty warm reception, & I think most of them who made the raid must have been annihilated, for no living thing could pass through the barrage which our artillery put up.
I have not heard any more of my application & have given it up, so we will have to wait with patience for what the future may bring & a kindly Providence send, in the meantime dear do not worry I am not too badly off, & I am doing a work which is badly needed here- intensely appreciated by the boys, & one which is giving me a splendid all-round experience which will be worth while when I return. My work at Neepawa - Selkirk Emerson etc seems small & petty as compared to my task here & though I have only been here 3 months I have been complimented etc very highly. I tell you this dear not boastingly, but because I know that it will be a real pleasure to you to hear, & to realize that it is your sacrifice which is making such a service possible. I am going to try & write a few lines to Mrs. Grant & Ruby poor girl.
How I look forward to the time when I shall see you all again what a great day it will be, & how I shall enjoy being with you & the kiddies = it will be "Paradise Regained". I must go now sweetheart, duty calls - we have a band concert to night, in the concert hut & I must see that everything is in running order.
Good, night my dear ones God bless you & keep you
Fondest love - hugs & kisses from
P.S. Am enclosing a few cards for the children, & shall send one or two in each of my letters for a while. Also the flowers I am enclosing are the first spring flowers, plucked from amongst the ruins of what was once a beautiful old church.