91494 A. Co
19th Reserve Batt'n C.E.F.
C/O Army Post Office
My Dear Betty:
Another few minutes, have been out on musketry all day & am tired & sleepy, but here's for a few lines before turning in. In the first place I received your registered letter, mailed Feb2/17 & containing draft for $150.00 (£31..7..6) I guess as things are now & as they are likely to be I shall not require it, but as I said in previous letters it just as well to have a little here one never knows what may turn up. However, I will tell you what I shall do - I am going to place it in the bank, & leave everything so arranged that if anything happens to me you will be able to get the money without any or very little trouble. I may possibly - perhaps it would be the better plan - let Rose (Mrs. Babshaw) bank it for me there, then if at any time I needed money I could get it in a day or two, then again if you needed it or if anything happened to me, she would sent it to you, in any case dear Betty I will make it so that you have no trouble, & also that it will be perfectly safe. About the mortage, if they bother you at all about interest etc, I would just tell them to wait for it - they cannot charge you compound interest & you know as the property stands in my name, they cannot even apart from the Moretorium collect anything from you, however as long as they are reasonable its all right to pay the interest as long as you have the cash. About insurance, I think the next premium is Confederation for $2000 about $68 or $70 & due about the middle of March then there is the allowance of 30 days grace which would make it due not until the middle of April, & then if you find you have trouble making the payment then you had better phone Mr. Barton who no doubt would be able to fix it for you.
It ha just occurred to me that it might be as well if you were to make enquiries about the taxes, in some places I know, where men are serving with the oversea forces, they are exempt from taxes, it will do no harm anyway to enquire. The thought has just occurred to me in regard to the money you have sent, that it might be best to send it back to you before I go to France. I will try & do the wisest thing, it would be safe enough with Rose, but I don't want you to be short, don't hesitate a single moment in telling me if you are finding it difficult at all to finance things. You will see by the papers that the food question over here is serious, one the government is doing now, what ought to have been done 18 months ago, but we shall pull through alright, the Huns are beginning to back up & retire from some of their positions on the [?] I hope it continues. Don't think dear Betty that we are in need here - going hungry etc. We are getting plenty to eat - but its wonderful what one can get along without when they have to.
I had tea down at Seaford on Sunday & I thought I would indulge in a couple of boiled eggs & I had to pay 15¢ each for them. I have just had 4 eggs since I landed in England & I don't think I'll have many more at that price. But don't forget when I come home I am going to eat ½ doz eggs to a meal & stay in bed until noon everyday for a month. It's a good thing you taught me to take tea without sugar its no hardship now - the only sugar we see here is the raw (dark brown & very coarse) & very little of that while for our porridge we have dark molasses, & of course the dark bread we have got accustomed to. I'm afraid if you were over here you would miss your potatoes they are very scarce & have been as high as 6 cents per pound. My you are having a hard winter - if I am not back before another winter you best better get a hole made into the chimney so that you can have a stone in the dining room when it gets extra cold. Have any of your things in the cellar froze potatoes etc? & how is your hot water [?] work? So the preacher called at last eh? he might have saved himself the trouble I guess. I am still sending an occasional picture card or two to my kiddies & am so glad to get their little letters Shirley is getting to write fine. Well we are expecting to move from here on Sunday March 4th to Bramshott Camp near Aldershot - Surrey, & then it won't be long I hope before I go to France - you know dear heart I could not stay in England in safety etc, when our boys are roughing & toughing it, & fighting & suffering over yonder. I know how you feel about it dear, but you wouldn't think much of me would you if I shirked my duty or played the coward's part - especially now that nearly all our 222nd boys are across & some have been pulled & wounded. No sweetheart - you are doing your part bravely over there in the little home, "keeping the home fires burning" & praying that "God will bring Daddy safe home again". I must o my bit here & god help me to do it as faithfully as you are doing yours. One thing this experience is doing for a good many of us over here - it is teaching us a much needed lesson in values, & I do thank god from the bottom of my heart that he has blessed me with such a priceless gifts as your devoted self - so faithful & loyal in your unselfish & untiring effort in your home & for your loved ones - when I think of some of the nasty things I have done & said in the past to you (& I often do that) I feel ashamed & wonder how I could have done so, while the pain of regret, remorse can only be measured of the wish "for the power to recall all the unkindness of the past" It may be that if God spares me to come back to you, that I may err in this respect again, for I would not make any pledge or promise under such circumstances, they might not be worth much & we are not always master of ourselves, But one thing I want you to understand dear Betty & it is this - you are the dearest thing in my life & dearer now & for then when I first married you & yourself & my darling children constitute the best that life has for me - As far as your duty etc as wife & Mother are concerned you need have no regrets, for you have done it nobly & have been faithful - all things. So whatever the future may hold be assured of this - that I do indeed love you more dearly than I can express & words or even in deed & my kiddies too - and it is because I love you & my darlings so much, that I am where I am today & shall not be afraid even to face death across the water yonder in France, it is for you first & then for other women & children - oh how can the young manhood of Canada hold back at such a time as this, when so much all in fact that is best & dearest in life is at stake? If they could only see even what we see here, they would not hesitate a single moment longer or if they did hesitate & refuse to respond then they would be void of all sense of manhood & be craven indeed. Don't think dear that I have anyone in mind as I write this, except all those who might & could & ought to be with use here - there are women over here, lots & lots of them who have given up Husbands & 4-5 & 6 sons, & some who have lost them all - it's a crime & its dastardly & shameful for any single & physically fit young man in the old Empire of ours to hang back & let others fight & suffer & die & sacrifice for him & his. [?] the night before last about 11 o'clock we heard the booming of guns - next day we knew what it was - it had been the Huns at their devilish work again murdering helpless & innocent women & babies.
The women over here are splendid working at everything & everywhere in order that the men might be spared to join the army. But there I shall tire you if I keep on like this I must draw to a close have more than I intended. Rose told me she was going to send you some of Renny's old or outgrown dresses its good of her - [?] met Mattie & Hal also Gunns. Will write again as soon as we get to our new home. And whenever the time comes when I am ordered to France, I think I will send you a cable so that you will not be unduly anxious in not knowing where I am - I shall only put on the one word "going" but you will know what it means. Good night dear heart, don't forget I love you good night dear heart, don't forget I love you even if you are past 40 "Ah Ah" fondest love to yourself & Shirley & Billy - God bless & keep you in his care