My Dear People:
This is too fine an afternoon to be inside but Snider and I have just come in from a trip downtown to get some prints I took a week or so ago. So I thought I would dispatch a few of them off home at once.
We have been having perfectly wonderful weather over here ever since I returned so evidently I wasn't the Jonah while I was home after all. It makes it very nice for Fritz to get off some of his dirty work over in France and from the sound of things he started some kind of a show yesterday.
At present, as you know they have me still on home service but a few days ago they sent telegrams from the War Office asking for the names of all men in the various commands that could be rushed over to the Base Hospital in France in case of an emergency. Last night we all got orders to be prepared to go over any time but that is always very indefinite in this army. Now I don't want you people to start imagining all sorts of funny things right off. You know what I have been through before and should be pretty well satisfied there is nothing whatever to worry about. This simply means I will go across the channel and do some kind of work in a Base Hospital or on lines of communication. They don't send men marked "Home Services" into the trenches and I would have to have my papers changed to "General Service" which means a lot of red tape and medical boards before they would send me "up the line". In fact I don't consider there is a great possibility of anything coming of these orders and rather hesitated whether it was wise to say anything about them at all but then I decided it would appear rather funny to you people if I should sometime send a cable from France or a letter and you had no previous indication of what it meant and therefore settled down immediately to worry. Jim Dickson is on the same orders and in fact was on them for six months before going home at Christmas but he never got any further. So why worry?
I got a letter the other day from "Canada Lodge" and have filled in the necessary papers to have my initiation. It is simply another matter of waiting again. Jim is also doing the same. We simply couldn't do things separately now. If I go to France I only hope he comes too.
I had invited Eric Clarke and Bill Scott over to mess with me for Thursday night but instead of them being at the Central Hospital, Basingstoke they are down at some training depot at Shorncliffe but hope to be sent back to Basingstoke soon. I think that is too good a joke to forget. Here is Eric, who has always had things soft and I don't think is very particular about having them otherwise, running a chance of being sent over to France. Wouldn't it be funny if he got "Active Service" like the rest of us sometimes do.
Just this minute I received a telephone message from the hospital saying I am to proceed from here at 730 A.M. Mar 24th for Folkestone enroute to France. That sounds more like a "Man's" job to me. Snider has received the same and probably Jim has too so we may all be in the same party. I am glad to think this war won't end without me getting a French ribbon out of it. We are all happy.
There is a dance on at the Royal Aircraft Factory tonight. There are a good many very fine ladies working in this factory so we should have a fairly elite crowd anyway there is nothing like trying it.
I am sending a few snaps Stew and I took during his week-end down here. You will recognize most of them without looking at the back or at least you should.
Ralph Musson was here to dine with me on Wednesday night. He certainly is a great lad - and looks more fit than ever if that is possible. I hope to see him again tomorrow if I have time.
Well I think this is all the news for this time. The next letter will probably be from France so don't start and worry about it please.