Sept 22nd 1917
My Dear Betty:
I have received your letters 4 & 5 forwarded from the 1st General Scotland, also yesterday 2 & 3 from Rose - suppose from now on you address your letters to Bella & let her forward them on to me until I get a more settled address, I think that I shall get them more quickly that way; oh, by the way did you receive a family group photo from Bella? she is anxious to know if you got it. Well I am still at the above beautiful place & likely to remain for a while longer yet. Am having quite a time with insomnia which of course effects my appetite but everyone is awfully good to me, there is only one thing lacking & that is you & my kiddies & I am seeing quite a lot of London as well as getting into some beautiful homes & to know some lovely people. By the by I am in a room to myself now & everything is so nice.
Am glad that people are so kind etc to you it helps a lot friendly sympathy etc, Am also glad that you have such a good garden. Don't bother any more about the Falkners etc they are not worth it, & you will get along better without them, they are not our sort anyway. My wounds are all healed up & am only just a little stiff & tender, the next thing is to get my nerve fixed up & that will come in time.
Don't worry dear about my not coming home just yet - it may happen sooner than we expect & after all up to now we have a great deal to be thankful for. I have not heard from anyone outside yourself since I was wounded, not even W.C. Smally. Oh did you ever receive a dozen portal photos of that soldier's grave at Greyshott, along with the negative, let me know, I paid for them & they were to be sent, just before I went to France.
It will be a long - long while before I go to France again & I don't think that they will send me again, & it may be & I hope it will be that the war will be over soon.
But I have a suggestion to make if you care to act upon it, & think now that after I have done my bit as I have you would be perfectly justified in making the effort & certainly it would do no harm.
It is awfully hard for a man to get sent back to Canada unless he is badly crippled up. My suggestion is this, Dr Shields of Toronto is one of our foremost Baptist Pastors - he spends a month or so ever summer over in London supplying the Tabernacle Church Surgeons & I am given to understand that he has quite an influence with the authorities, as he is a personal friend of General Surners who commands the Canadian troops in England. If you were to write to him without delay & tell him all the circumstances, my having served in [?] & being invalided from the Imperial Army, then having done a lot of recruiting work in Canada - qualifying for my commission, giving up my church, & then reverting in order to go back to France, my being wounded etc, & then you can speak of your own state of health, & Billy's, you could get his address from Mr Matthews (my ink has given out) & possibly Mr Matthews would give you a letter of introduction or even write for you - There are all kinds of things done in the Army, & I have come to the conclusion that unless one tries to help themselves no one else will. Any-way I am certain that my nerves will never stand the strain of active service again. If you so this you must not of courses say that I have suggested it - I am cut up about your & the kiddies disappointment & I might better be home & at my own work again rather than over here & and no use to anyone. I am going to close this now dear for I am needed downstairs will finish later - I did not close this & so I am able to add just a little more - I had to go down downstairs to meet a friend who had called to take me to the Crystal Palace where we had a pleasant afternoon & evening & am just back 9-30 P.M. You can please yourself about making the request to have me sent home, the thought just came to me when I read your letters & saw how you had been building on it - it will do no harm to try anyway. I am to conduct the service here to morrow morning again & everyone seems delighted (I don't see why they should be) I will try and write again in the course of a few days - remember me kindly to all the friends and especially Dr McRae - Good Night now dear my best - best love to yourself & my dear kiddies.
God bless & keep you
P.S. Of course I did not receive Mrs Grant's parcel but thank them just the same & remember me to them - ask them if they will need a pastor at their church when I return home. Ah, Ah How is Willy Grant?