6th Canadian Infantry Brigade.
Otterpool. Camp Shorncliffe
Thursday Sept 7th 1916.
My dearest Beryl.
Your nice long letter arrived by this afternoon post while one from Ruby came this morning. They are both jolly welcome.
These last two or three days have been dreadfully cold but today again is delightful!
Our mess is beginning to be quite a fine establishment! and I have become an excellent caterer ! I know all the tricks of the trade now.
I think I mentioned in Rubys letter that I was getting a new cook! Well he came alright and I believe is becoming quite a good man- or rather he will be in time! Unfortunately today he got drunk in the afternoon consequently we had rather an upside down dinner!
I bought some bloaters today and tomorrow will be bloaters for brekker for me! It really is quite nice being Sec. so I can order any mortal thing I like- and if you know me at all you can be sure I look after the savouries etc that go down my tummy!
Another good thing that I derive from being Sec. is that I always have the best of everything at meals for I am boss of the waiters cook etc & can fire any one of them at any time. I always have the “outside” of the Roast Beef etc. Oh this is some place alright.
I bought a new stove today it has an oven in & is rather like that one of Ben’s.
Before, we had to do all our cooking & baking in a “Field oven” which is simply a hole in the ground & fire in it- really a very futile sort of thing!
Now that we have this new one the cook will have to turn out all sorts of fancy cakes & pastry! If he cant he will be fired so for his & my sake I hope he can!
We have got some splendid linen table clothes & napkins! Some class alright. An old woman has a contract to wash them every twice a week. She charges 4d for the table clothes and 1d each for the napkins! – So I dont think that will bust us!
I had such fun here a day or so ago. The Brig and I were out riding & we came to a beautiful field which to my eyes looked splendid for a gallop! So I suddenly dug my heels into Kitty- my horse & away we went: of course Tom the Brig’s horse had to go too and we were having a most exciting race! The poor old Brig was simply terror struck and he fairly called to me.- “Stop Stop- Stop Stop!” He was jolly nearly off so I had to slacken speed most unwillingly! I could hardly refrain from laughing, for it was so funny! I’ll teach him to try & race me!
I saw Mrs. Charles Kinneat a day or two ago: She is living in Hythe with her Mother at present but is thinking of moving to Devonshire.
A very funny thing happened the other day. Our Padre, a Welshman named Hughes first met her on the boat coming over from Canada & he only knew her slightly. Then all of a sudden he met her in Hythe one day. He was very pleased with himself- came into the mess beaming one day saying – “Oh I say Duke I can introduce you to an extremely nice girl.” I said “Oh who is she”- “Her name is Miss Sutton.” I saw his mistake at once, but said “Oh yes I know her!” He was flabbergasted at my getting to know her so quickly as he thought he was fast enough himself. However he had quite a “crush” on and used to go down & see them quite often, coming back to tell me how terribly nice she was etc.
He of course all this time thought she was “Miss Sutton” (for she was that on the boat).
Finally one day he met Mrs. Sutton out one day & of course enquired for “Miss Sutton”!! Imagine his shock & disgust when she said –“you mean Mrs. Kinneat I think”!! He has felt mad with me ever since for not telling him- but I didn’t want to spoil his fun!
I had a very nice letter from Capt Andrews from the trenches the other day. I sent him a lot of illustrated papers etc & he thanked me very much for them.
So you can drive Dr. Holmes’ car can you- splendid!
Do you remember Mrs Brownlee’s “Cutting” & Beacon Hill Park? I suppose they still have Airedales in their back garden!
I am glad you like my letters, although I am afraid some are rather dry I cant at all express my appreciation & love for all the excellent letters from home!
Yes I quite agree with you Mother & Dad are the very best Mother & Father in the whole world there are none like them [?] certainly realize [?] the further you are away brothers & sisters- I’m very sure [?] cannot possibly be equaled! I am indeed lucky all through! Val and Denis ought to be here in about 3 days time. I’m afraid I cant get leave this week-end to see them but I may manage next perhaps.
You offered me a melon from the greenhouse!! Ugh! no thanks! how dare you!
I suppose you will have heard by now about Herbert getting his Commission in the Navy- I’m so jolly glad for his sake-, he will like it much better!- poor old Herbert!
In my letter to Ruby I mentioned about the Zepplin passing over our heads the other night. Well that was the one that was brought down [?] Lieut Robinson. [?] over here is so pleased [?] can talk of nothing else. It [?] is fine, alright. I am sending a couple of Mirrors which tell all about it, they may be of some interest! By the way do you still get the Sketch. If not would you like it?
Best of love to Mother Daddy Ruby Hester & yourself
From [?] loving brother
Col. Cullin, as far as I can make out, is taking the hot springs Harrogate on [?] expense!!!!!!! So that’s where [?] money goes!
There will be a [?], to Canada after the war, so buy all the real estate you can.