Moore Barracks Hospital
Shorncliffe Dec 4th 1916
Dear Mr. Irwin:
I have told you something; in fact I have told you a lot and even more than anyone else yet in Canada. From the above heading you will learn that I am in Hospital at Shorncliffe and have been here for a week now.
I was under observation by two different medical officers who sent me down here for observation. The medical officer who is in charge of our ward had given me three examinations and I am to have an X Ray tomorrow or Wednesday on my heart etc.
But there is one thing I wish to ask you – i.e. that you keep this strictly confidential for the present as I have not told them at home yet. Understanding that Mother has been very sick I deemed it wise not to tell them for the worry might interfere with Mother’s progress so that after I am out of here and back to work again I shall let them know but not until.
There are 16 beds in the part of the ward I am in and every fellow try to be as nice with the other one as is possible. There are two nice big lounge chairs and we never see the same man in the chair for long at a time and he isn’t thrown out either. Everyone seems to look after the other chap – which is only part of our life work.
Today the sun is shining brightly and it is quite cold. Last night there was a heavy frost and it really felt like Canadian weather but still the month is not the same at all. There is no weather or climate like that of good old Canada.
I am expecting a letter from you any day telling me about your hunting trip but I guess on account of being down here they haven’t got track of me yet for I haven’t received any mail yet and its somewhat lonesome without it. But it’s a way they have of doing things in the 39th Battalion. It is three weeks today since I heard from home at all and I can tell you it makes me very anxious. I have really only had 2 letters, one of Dads telling me of Mothers operation and one from Luna[?] the next day but which came on the same mail, saying that she was progressing nicely but that is all I have heard. However when the 39th wakes up to the fact that I have been in Hospital they will send my mail here and then I will be back to camp.
Thank Karl for me for his letter which I received some time ago, He wrote me one whilst you were away hunting.
I sincerely hope that you had good luck on your fall holidays
Pte Fred Dunford is in the same ward as I am and is 4 beds down. He has rheumatism sciatica and he put in a dreadful night last night. He had three hypodermic injections because the pain in his shoulder etc and I can tell you he certainly suffered but is easier today.
Well I will close for now. Hoping you are well and all your family. Heres wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Bright Prosperous New Year and I ask you to follow us all in your prayers as we do you each & every night.
Your sincere friend
Corp L.D. 195706
C. Co 39th Battalion
West Sandling Kent
As I expect to be back to the lines by the time you get this & send an answer