From: East Sandling
23 Sept. 1918
Dearest Mother -
I can give you news of another move in this letter. Casey told me early last week that No. 1 Wing were moving on Saturday to Sandling camp, near Shorncliffe and a couple of days later, we were told that No. 6 would be moving Sunday forenoon. Some of the other wings have moved and the rest are going to, so that Hastings will be cleared of the whole Cadet Brigade. We were rather busy on Friday and Saturday packing things up and getting it moved to the station. It is a very different matter moving here where they have so much stuff, such as spring beds, mattresses, dishes, etc. than it is to moving a battery in France. It rained on Sunday, but we got here about noon (some 40 miles) and got a lot of the stuff unpacked in the afternoon and evening. This forenoon the remainder of it was moved up.
The address now is:
Cadet R. Gordon Brown
"A" Flight, #3 Squadron,
#6 Cadet Wing, R.A.F.,
#8 Area, East Sandling Camp,
but, I would not write to that address at all if I were you as this is only a temporary move and in about a week or ten days they expect to move the whole outfit into Shorncliffe and put us in some of the barracks there. It is odd what moves they have to make, but I suppose they had to be out of Hastings by a certain date to be able to turn over the billets to some Eng. battalions coming in, and that the barracks at Shorncliffe weren't ready for them yet.
We are only supposed to be on this part of the course for two more weeks. Under the ordinary course of events, we should have tried our final exam next Saturday and left for the next place the week after. These moves will probably keep us back for a week or two, but even so, we shall only be at Shorncliffe for a very short time. Consequently, I am afraid my mail will not get to me very quickly.
Do you know that three or four days ago at Hastings, I was told by one of the fellows that he had seen a couple of letters for me in the Ante Room. I went down immediately but in the meantime, someone had taken them and I was able to find no trace of them. I learned they had been left there the night before so I thought maybe they had been taken back to the office by mistake, but such was not the case. The fellow who had seen them had examined them closely enough so that I know that both were from you. You can hardly imagine how annoyed I felt. I have never felt so annoyed over anything for a long time. It is bad enough to have letters go astray but to have them disappear in two minutes like that was rather too much. I shall never get them now and don't know whether they were some of your later ones or old ones forwarded.
Friday night, Casey and I went to the Drill Hall at Hastings to see an Exhibition of Official Canadian War Photographs which were very good. Most of them were pictures connected with the taking of Vimy Ridge - many of the scenes depicted were ones with which I was familiar. I bought a Canadian War Pictorial while there which is very good and which I must try and send you. It shows some good pictures of Passchendaele and gives one a faint idea of the desolateness of the place. It also shows some pictures of the taking of Hill 70, a year ago last August.
No. 1 Wing are right near us here. I haven't seen Casey yet since coming because we have not been able to leave our quarters, but shall probably be able to see him tonight.
We are living here in huts very much the same as at Witley, but we are not quite so crowded in it and have our spring beds and mattresses here where at Witley we had boards and straw palliasses. Of course, as cadets, one gets better accomodation and none of the disagreeable fatigues we had before.
I tried to get those photographs we had taken a couple of weeks ago, but they were not quite ready, so I am sending them my address so that they may send them on here. Best of love to all.