From: St. Martin's Camp
24 Nov. 1918
Dearest Mother -
Since writing you a week ago today, I have received no less than four letters from you. Last Mon. I received the ones you wrote on Oct. 13 and 16. On Tues., I received a letter from Harold, on Thurs. a parcel of papers containing the "Veteran" for September and some S.S. Times on Fri., your letter of Oct. 20 came to hand & on Sat. yours of Oct. 27.
In the first letter I got a picture of Harold and one of the Bank, also a note from Gladys. That was the first news I had that the Spanish Flu was so prevalent in Canada and the States. There has been a lot of the same thing on the continent and in England for some time. I heard of it first, about a couple of weeks before I left France. A few in the battery had it then and later about Â¾ of them were down with it at one time. There was quite a bit of it in England and, you remember, I had a touch of it in Dublin on my leave. It quieted down for a time, but for the past three or four weeks, there have been heavy casualties in the large cities from it, and great precautions were being taken. I understand it is very much better in London now, tho it is still bad in other parts. They had put all theatres in Cheltenham out of bounds just before we left. Here it is not so bad.
You will learn in a subsequent letter that I received your first letter acknowledging those photos after all. And, also learned in that letter about Gladys and her insurance. But, I was very glad to get the extra letters.
Don't worry about not sending anything to me. Of course sox and handkerchiefs are always acceptable but I am pretty sell supplied and can get them here if I need them, better really than you could. Xmas is coming on. I know you would like to send something, but am not expecting anything. The way things are now, I have not yet the faintest idea what they are going to do with us. The course now is practically at a standstill. We get two or three lectures a day and sports in the afternoon. The regular classes we had before the move have not been started again. At Oxford, where Casey is, all lectures have ceased. Some think we may all go back to Canada as cadets and finish our courses in the Canadian Air Force there if we wish. Or we might be sent back to our units in France and be demobilized with them. I saw somewhere that they can only take about 20,000 back per month. At that rate, it would take over a year and a half to get everyone back. Some have started already, I believe. About 9,000 Canadians from around here - all artillery & battery reserve men (D3 category - fatigue men) have or are about to leave on the "Olympic", the boat I came across on. I believe the whole Canadian Corps in France are taking part in the march to the Rhine in the army of occupation, so that it will be some time before they can start demobilizing there. So, they might decide one day to ship us home the next.
The last letter I received from you contained those four snaps you sent. I like them very much.
So Uncle Ed has died. One would scarcely have thought he would have lived this long.
After all those inoculations, you should certainly be immune from the Flu. I hope they are getting the epidemic in hand.
Love to Gladys, Harold, Cecil, Arthur and yourself.