From: East Sandling Camp
6 Oct. 1918
Dear Mother -
I told you in my letter of a week ago that I had received your letter of Sept. 8 containing three little photos. It so happened that less than twenty-four hours later, I had received four letters all of which had been addressed to No. 8 Wing and had been delayed a bit in the forwarding. Two of them were from you written on Aug. 26 and Sept. 2. So the two letters of yours that I told you went astray at Hastings would not have been those two as I thought, but must have been two of those you sent to Army P.O.
So, in your letter of Aug. 26, I learned that you had received those little photos alright. You speak of not knowing yet whether I had received the Kingston money or not. I am sure I must have told you about that in the same letter in which the photos were, as it was just before that, that I had written to them and received an answer. They had quite evidently, at that time, but one amount - the first amount - which was all I then knew about. They would scarcely have had time to receive the Â£10, and the amount Â£11:9:4 which they had received shows it was the $56. They have never sent me word about the Â£10 but your letter shows me they have it as well. It certainly is a wonder that the letter ever reached you, but if you can't see how they made the mistake, I think I can. It is evident theymisread your M. I can read your Ms as 3C. I can see a 3C in any of your M's now that it has been pointed out.
I am unaware of any meaning in those leaves in the emblem, tho for that matter, they may be there for a special reason. Your translation is exactly as I understood it. The other day, I received the papers you had sent. The "Veteran" and the five "East and West"s.
I believe that in my last letter I told you that I would be moving to the next school last Friday. However, we did not move as we should have done and are now supposed to go next Friday. They say it is a sure thing this time. The fellows from No. 1 Wing, who were ready to pass out, were not detained as we were and left on Saturday (yesterday). No. 1 Squadron (the one Casey was in) and all the Canadians of No. 5 Squadron went to Oxford while the remainder of No. 5 went to Cheltenham. We have not the faintest idea yet where we are going, but Oxford & Cheltenham are now likely filled up, so it may be Bristol, Reading or Bath. Some don't like Oxford because it is so strict, but I understand it is the most efficient and passes out the best men. I am glad Casey got there. I saw him Friday night and we said goodbye. It is hard to say when we shall see one another again, if at all. That is one of the worst features of this whole business - has been all the way thru - one, no sooner forms a friendship with someone when it has to be broken and, of all the chums I ever had, I never got along with one or liked one so well as I did Casey. I can see how that if we had only known, there was one time when we could have got together i.e. - just after we had left the train when we first came to Hastings - since then, we have been separated further all the time.
Those pictures that I sent to Hastings for, have not yet come and it now looks as tho either my letter or worse, the pictures, went astray in the mails. I do seem to have such precious luck with some of my mail!
Oh, and I had nearly forgotten! Yesterday, I mailed for you that Canadian War Pictorial that I had bought at the Exhibition of Canadian Photographs in Hastings. I have had it some time now, meaning to send it to you. Curiously enough, it tells about the big engagements the Canadians were in last year from Vimy to Passchendaele which covers the period that I was out there. As it says, last year was a Canadian year. Everyone of the big offensives on the British front were carried out by Canadians with the possible exception of the Messimes Ridge and even there, that was only possible because Canadian engineers had, for the past two years, been digging the tunnels and laying the mines. Now the Canadians are up against the hardest thing they ever had to do - be at Cambria. One thrills at reading how they advance in spite of difficulties. I sometimes think I should be out there.
From a saner viewpoint tho, my getting my application thru just when I did was very providential. If it had been detained for another couple of weeks, I should have been held over altogether until after these offensives. Strange as it may seem to you, I almost sometimes feel as tho I am not quite doing my bit here at such a time. I have always felt I should like to be in France when the last shot was fired.
This magazine gives rather vivid descriptions of some of last year's fighting. There is one picture there that I have seen in other papers which shows a signaller of ours who was wounded at Hill 70. The day that the actual advance was made, you remember, I was on my way to the Rest Camp near Wimereux.
The other two letters I got a week ago were from Florence Willson and Josephine Stagg.