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Date: January 10th 1915

Sunday Jan 10th 1915

16880 F Coy
1st BC Regt
2nd Brigade
Can Exped Force
(Mud) Lark Hill Camp
Salisbury Plain

My Dearest Kate,

I was more than delighted to get your letter yesterday to say that you had received my letters & postcards. I was sorry to hear that you had been suffering with neuralgia so bad, but I hope that its better by now & that you are feeling alright again. I am suffering from the same complaint myself I guess I shall have to go to the dentist again I got the picture from home today & am sending it on to you by this mail, also the maple sugar I have managed at last to get a fairly decent piece of paper to wrap it with. I think the picture is pretty good for a copy but think it would look better on a darker mount. I hope you will get it alright & that you will like it. If you don't want to keep the both pictures you can give one of them to Bee or Alice I believe you told me that you gave Necia one of the others. Glad to hear that you liked the views of Bampton. Yes: dear I hope to be able to take you around some of those places some day. I was sorry that I couldn't let you know that I was sick but none of the boy's in the tent knew which hospital I was in so they couldn't come and see me or else I may have asked one of them to write to you. However if I am taken sick again & have to go to hospital I will get someone to write to you if I am unable to write myself My people didn't know that I had been sick until I got home. I sent them a wire that I was coming & they thought I was just down for a few hours before leaving England. I wish you could have been here to nurse me too dear. I am sure you would have nursed me better than anyone else & you would have recommended me for a long rest I really ought to have had another couple of weeks rest & should have if I had received the Colonels letter in time but as I hadn't heard from him I though I had better return (even if I had to go sick the next day) to save getting into trouble, but had I known that letter was coming I would have stayed. No dear I didn't have to walk from Devizes[?]. I left home by an earlier train & was able to go right through to Lavington & four of us hired a car to take us to West Down & when I got there of course the Regt was over here so I had to hustle around for a tent to sleep in that night & came on here next morning but I wasn't fit for the walk (about six miles) I had to sit down on my kit & rest about a dozen times on the road & it was cold too. We had a very charp frost that night & my head was very bad I hardly knew what I was doing you can bet I was glad when I found the camp so that I could get in bed. I had a bad headache for a few day's after but I am pleased to say it has left me now. It used to come on as soon as I got outside in the cold air & would pass off again after being in the hut a while I had never had headache before in my life & I certainly don't want it again like that Yes: Dear I was glad that I had a home over here I wouldn't care to stay in that hospital for long I was really more comfortable in my own tent but of course we have to obey orders in the army or you are put under arrest for insubordination & they don't make the hospitals too comfortable here or some men would want to be there all the time I was sorry to hear dear that you had such a hard day the day before writing your last letter. I hope you weren't overworked at Christmas so as to make yourself ill. I was thinking about you at Christmas time & wondering how late they were keeping you at work & wished I could have been there to see you home. I would much rather have spent Christmas with you than here in England. Of course its nice to be here & able to see my relations, but Victoria is home to me now, I don't think I shall ever want to come to England again once I get in Victoria. The five months I have been away from there seems much longer than the three & half years I was away from England & it seems a much longer distance from this side too. I hear that any man wishing to get an honorable discharge from the contingent can get it & have his transportation paid back to Canada. I would apply for mine at once only they will say I have cold feet. I don't think you would like to hear that said about me would you? A rumour came in here saying that we were going to be disbanded & sent back I dont believe that but that about the discharges is correct as its out in orders. I think there is something funny going on around here. We had a church parade this morning & the parson was preaching to us about adverse criticism & telling not to criticize our superior officers & those at the head at the War Office & so on. I though he was trying to quieten the fellows down a bit as a lot of them were sore when they read in the papers that Kitchener said that the Canadians weren't fit for foreign service & that they weren't included in the first six armies that were to be sent to the front immediatly. You should have heard them calling Kitchener down this afternoon when the rumour came from the Sergts Mess that we were going to be disbanded especially after the sermon we had preached to us this morning. I was trying to write home at this time but had to give it up as the noise was something awful. I dont know what's in the wind at present but shouldn't be surprised if we are split up & formed in fresh brigades with regular battalions or something like that In fact we are about ready to receive anything just now but I dont think we shall be in France for some time yet. I think Edith must be pretty fond of rum to put so much in the sauce for the Christmas pudding. I should like to have had some of it as the last lot I had there was so good Please remember me to them all when you see them Glad to hear you had been having such fine weather in Victoria. I wish we could get some here, we get nothing but rain & wind with an occasional fine day in between. How would you like a job washing dishes & cleaning the hut with me tomorrow dear? I always's think of the time when we used to do it together at Pau's[?] when I have the job of mess orderly here but it seems ages ago to me, and how we used to go out on the beach at Spoon Bay or on our Island. I think somebody must have been on that beach before us or else they must have known that we were going there to give it a name like that anyhow it certainly earned its name. Have you been to Ross Bay lately to see if our log is still there? Those pictures of the flood didn't come out in the papers but I believe there are some picture postcards of the bunch of us at Awesbury[?]. If I can get down there this week I will get some to send on to you. One of our fellows saw some there on Friday & he said they were very good of all of us. You will see by them that I have removed the eyebrow from my upper lip. I took it off New Years Eve so as to start the New Year with a clean face. I was tired of the thing. In fact I never did like them but I thought I would let it grow for a while. Did you get the papers I sent you the other day. I tried to get a "Daily Mirror" for you that day but there was none came around. I was going to Micheldever today to see Harry but found that I couldn't make the round trip in one day so had to put it off. I had quite a nice letter from the secretary of my lodge the other day. He told me Audy Chater was elected president for this year I guess I should have had that job if I had still been there. I guess I shall be able to get back in office again when I get back if I care to but I dont think I shall bother with it as it takes up too much time to attend to it properly. I wrote to Audy from Valcartier but never got a reply & I wrote him a letter the other day I suppose he is still staying with Mrs McKay at Burnside Road. I guess he missed Mitchell at first especially when the dancing season started. I dont suppose Frank has returned to Victoria yet? Remember me to him when you write. I am hoping to get another letter from you dear in a few day's I got your last one on Friday that was written on the 21st Of course dear I wouldn't expect you to write Christmas week when you were working late as I know how tired you would feel after a long day in the tea-room (I have had some myself) & I know that its not easy. I used to be glad when Christmas was over Its awful tiring work & everyone seems to leave all their shopping until the last day & they are all in a hurry to get served as soon as they come in. Its very good of you dear to make those socks for me I dont know how to thank you for it as I am sure I have done nothing to deserve such kindness from you Dont forget to let me know what day your birthday falls on & if there is any particular thing you would like as a birthday present let me know & I will get it for you Let me know as soon as possible dear as we cant get away any time we like & I dont want your birthday present to be late like your Christmas present was so dont forget will you dear. You wouldn't let me get you anything last year & this time I want to get you something that you would like. This may be my last chance of buying you a birthday present, but I sincerely hope not, but one never knows so now dear its up to you (excuse slang) Now Darling I think I must close as its getting near bed time & I think I have told you about all the news for the present Please give my love to Bee & Will Necia & Jim Alice & Billy. Tons of love & thousands of kisses for you dearest XXXXXXXX

Your Ever Loving

I hope you will get the candy & photo safe

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Original Scans