Address all letters to Rose
More cards for the kiddies
Sept 6th 1917
My Dear Betty:
Two letters to hand yesterday No's 1 & 28 they are the first that I have received sence you heard that I was wounded, & am very glad that you got my letters so soon after hearing that I was wounded, it would be that much less worry & am glad to hear that you have had Edith for a visit, every-thing seems to come at the right time. It is nice to know also that the people are good to you, except of course your next door neighbors, & I suppose they must feel kind of mean now. This is a most beautiful place just about perfect, one can hardly describe it in writing - The Massey-Harris people pay for everything, the food is the very best & every-thing luxurious the grounds are the last word in beauty - The "Boveris" people built it at a cost I believe of 600,000 dollars then a Russian Princess got it, & after that a German Baron then when war started the government took it over & then the Massey-Harris people rented it for its present use . The nurses are the very best, & every comfort required is provided, I shall be very sorry to leave it. It is only about five miles from the heart of the city & buses run every few minutes, the far being 6 cents. From two P.M our time is our own until 9 P.M. so that we have a splendid opportunity to see London. The only worry just now is the air-raids, there have been bombing raids for the three past nights in succession - I was into the city yesterday & saw where they had dropped bombs on Charring Cross Hospital they had made quite a mess in that part of the strand. On Monday afternoon 20 of us were invited to tea & entertainment at the Savoy Hotel & we had a splendid time, leading artists from the different London theatres provided the program & some of our English aristocrats waited on us. I tell you they are making a great fuss of the Canadian boys just now, & the boys have earned the reputation which they have - for they without doubt have done the greatest work of the war, especially at Lens - Lens literally is a death trap but our boys will take it in the end, & it's a great thing to have had a part in the fighting there.
This afternoon a friend & myself are to visit the Crystal Palace - it is only about 200 yds from here - but it is being used for naval barracks & they have several thousand sailors billeted there so it is closed to the public - however a sailor we met is getting a permit for us & taking us through I will send picture post card of it. Now dear Betty you must not expect me home until the war is over - My wounds though severe are doing splendidly, & there will be no permanent injury for which we need to be very thankful. I'd rather wait a few months longer & return in good condition, than come home now crippled & think of poor Pryor who will never come home so we must possess ourselves in patience, & the home-coming well be all the sweeter when it does come - As to going back to France I do not know, I am hoping & I rather thing that I shall not be required to go back - you see I volunteered to go in the first place & gave up my stripes to do so, & I am not sorry that I did, I would have hated to have returned to Canada without having been in France - Now I am satisfied that I have done my bit & taken my chance with the boys & shall be quite content to stay in England for the duration of the war. Anyway it is almost certain that I shall be in England for the Winter, so don't worry about me dear for the one who had kept me & brought me safely through such great dangers will continue to keep - Trust Him. Am glad to know that Billy is better, also that you received the money at last.
What do the Emerson people say about my being wounded etc? It is very kind of Mrs Clark but she was always good to us. Poor Mrs Pryor it is very pitiful - but alas it is only too true about Albert - it was a great shock to me, & I still feel it & shall, for he was a good friend & a loyal - faithful comrade, during the time I was in the battalion, we were inseparable - until death. I have often wished since, that I have not been so badly knocked about myself at the time, so that I could have been with him right through to the end - I would at least have got his photos etc etc & sent them home - but I was helpless myself, & he only lived a few hours. However I did what little I could to cheer & comfort him, & spoke of the Christ, I had tried to preach, at home in Emerson, in those long, painful & anxious hours, which passed from the time we were wounded until we reached the dressing station. I remember once, during a most difficult part of that awful journey - when the stretcher bearers were almost done out, & the shells were coming over & Pryor was groaning & asking when they would be there, & I myself was feeling pretty sick, & we all were wondering if we'd ever reach the Dressing Station in safety - Wet through & pain racked I remember starting to sing - "Pack all your troubles in you old kit bag, And smile - smile - smile." And do you know it out a new heart in all of us - My the boys were great - talk about V.C. & Military Cross, they wouldn't be able to make sufficient to give to all who deserve them.
Must close again now dear. Don ‘t worry, I'm doing fine & in a few weeks may be on leave before rejoining my [?] Remember kindly to all the friends & thank them all etc. My dear - dear love to yourself & the kiddies. God bless you & keep you.