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Date: March 30th 1918
Willoughby, Charles

Mar 30. 1918

My Dear Mother:

This is one day of all the days of my years that I feel I cannot let pass without writing you a letter even if be oh so short. I know it is the one occasion in particular which we should and do think of each other more than any other of the three hundred and sixty five days.

I tried very hard yesterday to try and send a cable off to either you or Maryon and let you know how well and perfectly comfortable I am on my new job but only to find that cable service with Canada and USA has been temporarily suspended. However I am hoping for better luck for next week-end, which is another day to be remembered in our family history.

There is something about this birthday which impresses me in a manner which has never occurred to me previously on any thirtieth of March. There is a feeling of how thankful I should be for the wonderful experiences and opportunities I have had during the past year but back of it all there remains a sense of lost opportunity. This war work after all does seem so absolutely useless. It is a case of love to do it unfortunately. To me it has proven a gain in general knowledge but an absolute loss of medical knowledge with a few exceptions. The army spirit unconsciously gets hold of you and you rest content to do as little as possible and all the times you are forgetting the little bit you ever did know. I realize that the one big event of my past year has been my understanding with Maryon and this I think gives rise to the feeling that so far I have only been wasting my medical education while in the army. It is probably cruel to use the word "wasting" for someone has to do the medical work and the young men should only be too glad to do it. In this way it all comes the resolution that I will have to try and do both this coming year. In other words "shake the army spirit."

I am very comfortable indeed tonight. This morning my convoy moved out for the first time and now we are about ten miles away from our base, banked in for the night. Tomorrow we will carry on, probably further up. Or we may receive orders to load patients from hospitals in this town.

I have four sisters working with me now as well as an orderly staff of twenty four. The personnel being equally divided between the two boats. As I am unable to divide myself I am making my headquarters on the most comfortable one. The two sisters on this boat are not altogether young but very, very nice. One is somewhat the motherly type of lady. She has travelled considerably so is very entertaining.

I know you will realize that my position gives no cause for alarm whatever. My trip home after similar work in a much more trying climate should be far greater proof than all I could write from now to eternity.

I will hope to find some mail waiting for me when I return to the base.

Most Lovingly,