Kent - England
My Dearest Betty:-
Still waiting, but suppose it will be two or three weeks before I am will on my way, one just has to wait patiently Am very thankful to be coming & do not mind the waiting though of course I am eagerly anticipating the meeting, it is a nice time of the year to be landing back in Canada though I'm afraid that I'll be a little late for gardening unless its to plant potatoes, was hoping to be back, was hoping to be back for Shirley's birthday, but tell her she had better postpone it & we will celebrate hers & mine together.
This is a beautiful place to be waiting in right by the sea & Folkstone just two miles away. I take a walk down every afternoon & the weather is delightful.
Who do you think I met on the beach the other day? Sandy Brown, one of the Emerson boys who helped to carry me out when wounded - he is in hospital here & was wounded at Pashendale, lost a finger & the sight of his right eye. I took him to supper & we had a pleasant two or three hours together. I was very pleased to meet him as he gave me a lot of news of the old boy & a few more details of that awful night July 18 which I can tell you when I get home. He also told me how S[?] Roberts & Baskerville died, they were all killed at Pashendale, Baskerville died of wounds & Brown was wounded by the same shell, which killed & wounded 34 others - poor S[?] was shot in the leg on the way across No-Mans-Land when the boys went over the top, they saw him crawl into a shell-hole, & owing to the heavy bombardment & snipers etc our boys could not collect their wounded & when they went back two days afterwards they found poor S[?] with two bullet wounds in the chest - he had evidently tried to get back to our lines & had been shot by a sniper or machine gun.
Roberts who also helped to carry me out (you will remember) also died alone he had been sent to carry a message to Brigade Hq's, & was found lying close by the side of the duckboards. Poor Roberts he was bartender at the Anglo American & was despised by some - but he made a splendid soldier & proved himself a hero again & again. Practically all of our Emerson boys have done splendidly there is only one exception & that was "Miles"
When I left France they were just commencing the "Big Offensive" I certainly have a great deal to thank God for & when I arrive home we will thank Him together. I suppose I shall have to make a visit to Emerson but it will be very hard to meet the people & tell them about their boys, the boys who are sleeping their long sleep over yonder.
Am hoping to go on a few days leave to-morrow, shall spend a day or two with Bella & Rose & the remaining few days with Lady Low & Lady Tollemacke in London. I want to visit the Houses of Parliament & Lords as well as one or two more places of interest. It is about five weeks since I received my last letter from you & don't suppose that I shall receive any more well I do not mind as long as I can see you & the kiddies - we'll read them together, when they begin to come back won't it be fun?
How have you decided to meet me is it to be an auto or the Park Line car? I think you'd better let me find my own way home. I hope you will have some roast pork & apple sauce & lemon pie; & porridge & marmalade & toast for breakfast - my won't that be a treat to taste your bread & dairy butter once again, also to get real milk once more.
One can hardly understand what the thought of coming home means to a man. Good Bye me dears remember me to Mr. & Mrs. Matthews & Kennedys & all enquiring friends what around of calls I shall have to make when I get back. Fondest love to yourself & kiddies God Bless you