From: Petawawa Camp, Ont.
14 Sept. 1916
Dear Mother -
I thought of writing on Mon. or Tues. but I put it off a day or two till matters were more definite. I received your letter the other day OK and was glad to hear that Gladys & Cecil had arrived at their destinations alright, altho, I know more about how Gladys is getting along than you do yourself as she may have told you in a letter.
For the last two or three weeks, the fellows have been getting weekend leaves from Sat. 11 a.m. to Mon. Reveille. A week ago Sun., about 70 of our battery were away on leave and last week those who had not gone before were given a chance. It was too small a time for me to go home but I thought Gladys would like to see me and as nearly all the fellows were going to Ottawa, I decided to do so too.
So, I spent all Sat. evening with Gladys and Sun. morning, we went to Glebe Pres. Church together. In afternoon, Irene went with us for a walk along the driveway. That evening, on the midnight, I left for camp again.
Gladys seems to have a very fine place to live in. It is quite a distance from Normal but not too far. She seems to like it but rather dreads starting in on speeches, teaching, etc. John Kelly rooms at Britannia somewhere. I kept my eyes open for him in Ottawa but failed to see him. I just had the one night in Ottawa & spent it at the YMCA where I had a fine room with privilege of using showers, etc. for 75Â¢.
We heard Mon. night, for sure that we leave tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. The 14th & 15th Bde. left a week ago tomorrow. For some reason, we are last Bde. to leave but are going for sure tomorrow night as other batteries took away our horses tonight and all our stuff is ready. I will be able to pack away all my stuff as we are issued with two kitbags. We also take two blankets and a ground sheet. It will be quite a load to carry to station but it is not far away.
My cold is all better & I feel fine. I am glad that I feel so well to start the trip on. It is likely that we will sail immediately we get to Halifax but cannot tell. The 12th Bde. stayed at Amherst for 2 or 3 weeks. The other 3 Bdes. went by way of Carleton Place & Smith's Falls, not passing thru Ottawa and it is very likely we do same. Even if we did, it would be about midnight or after when we get to Ottawa too late.
You should have got a $20. cheque from Ottawa as my assigned pay for Aug. I hope you have got it. You did not mention it. Also, have you yet received that picture of battery. I enclose receipt the fellow gave me. The fellows have got together all the money they could, I guess, and are handing it in to one of the men in battery who has now over $700. and will have it transferred in draft to England so they can get Eng. money there for it on landing. They are getting it a little cheaper this way, paying $4.80 for a Â£ where usual rate is $4.86, I think. Most are handing in enough for Â£ 3 or 4.
You remember I left my last cheque at home and failed to get any together. When I came back from Ottawa, I had practically nothing and last pay cheque for first half of Sept. is only $5. of course. I did not think of sending to you until too late and then I hated to because you have little enough on hand anyway. But the Battery Accountant here, a fellow who has been handling the money and is a banker, helped me out and I am sending a letter to Kingston bank that I copied from one he wrote for me, advising them to mail me a draft to Army P.O., London. He assured me this would be perfectly good. I enclosed a blank cheque on Bank of Commerce for them to fill with amt. for Â£8. Some of the fellows are sending as much as $72. In Eng. for next four mos. $5. of our pay per mo. will be kept to make a deposit of 20. to our credit to be given back when we are discharged, so you see, for next few mos., I will be getting about $8. per mo.
We will be in Eng. for some time and will be getting weekend leaves & so on, & you can understand that I would like to see as much of the old country as I could. They say travelling is very cheap over there, especially now for soldiers. I hear that on our first leave, we travel free but I do not know. Can travel quite a distance for a few shillings.
So that you can understand how I transferred the money I will give you a copy of what he wrote for me.
Can. Bank of Commerce
Dear Sir -- I enclose herewith blank cheque on your savings dept. which I should be obliged if you fill in for the amount necessary for a draft in my favour for Â£8 on your London England branch.
Kindly forward the draft registered to gunner R.G. Brown #304638, 50th Queens Battery CFA CEF, Canada Army P.O., London, Eng.
Thanking you in advance for your prompt attention to above request.
Specimen signature for
Can. Bank of Commerce
As soon as I land in Eng. I can advise the Army P.O. that I expect a registered letter from Kingston, and if I find we are delayed at Halifax, I can write from there asking them to hold letter for me. Then I can cash the draft in London. You think I did all right, do you not? I did not like to touch that money but that seemed the best way and you can see how I would need it.
I will try to drop you cards now & then as we go along. Hope you are all well. I am fine. I wrote this in great haste. I wrote the other letter tonight too and may drop Gladys a card.