Orpington Feb 15/17
Rev. A.M. Irwin BA
Dear Mr. Irwin:
Your letter of Jan 13th to hand some few days ago and I guess ours passed on the way this time.
Tonight is clear and I guess we are in for another cold one. The past two weeks have been real Canadian weather, and, needless to say, much enjoyed by us all. This week however has not been so fine.
I am still partaking of hospital rations but expect now that it will soon be over. This morning I was up for medical board – Results not known as yet but I expect either a little more cowalescence or duty again soon. A large number are being sent back – mostly casualties from France. Tuesday night a large convoy came in from France about 8 p.m. so now the Hospital is again filled up.
Sunday night attended a Baptist service at their church in the town. It was the first Sunday I have been able to get out at night as our passes generally expire at 5 p.m. each day. Baptist – because it was nearest our own form of service and personally I do not care very much for the Church of England Service.
I saw by last weeks “Canada” (printed in Toronto & London Eng) that ([?] Sgt) Elmer Brown had been wounded and that Edward Grant[?] – killed. Eight other 93rd lads were mentioned in the killed or wounded. It touched & hurts when our own town lads get it I can tell you.
Glad the team meeting was a success again this year. They will soon have the price of that New Pipe Organ which is badly needed or have their minds drifted from that subject for the present.
Yes I suppose as you say anything marked or stamped “Patriotic” scared the slackers to the Pool rooms or within the Iron gates of the mighty Bank.
I hope Karl comes up to the standard in his exams. Glad he made a good stand at Xmas.
You give me a reminder of that Diary. I am afraid it has been sadly neglected since coming into hospital for everyday seems the same. Nothing to do but eat slop and get fresh air. The same routine day in and day out.
Killarney has another Joke and a good one too. Poor “Old Charlie” hasn’t many friends and Knowing a little of “Dar[?]” temper in school days I am sure the Quarrel would have been amusing. The “Rip ‘er up” affair used to be the go when we were there and it reminded me of one Saturday night we were in Watsons Restaurant and Vanderburg was in the front of the store while a number of fellows (including Rorabeck[?]) were in the ice cream parlor. Rorabeck[?] thought that they were too slow in supplying our needs so he yelled “Rip her up Boys.” Needless to say Charlies blood began to boil. Too bad about Mr Ivey’s[?] death and the others as well. There seems to be a lot of sickness and trouble throughout the province this year. And now you ask a question hard to answer. The NCO or officer who gets Edwards, Neibel or Richardson deserves a D.C.M. (and that isn’t a District Court Martial either). For Burgess [?] I think nothing short of Victoria Crosses. It is a question alright. I can’t understand it when they are all single young men and only one (and perhaps little of him) gives any help to parents. I thought some of the crowd had a little conscience and especially the one who has been my chum since we were little kids and never had a disagreement. (You know of whom I speak) but I guess I know him better now.
I thing however the coming month or the one after will see a break some where the way they are moving in the hospitals. Also the British Loan, more commonly called the Victory Loan, has been a great success. The Englishman who hasn’t “a finger in the pie” is not thought to be up to much. Everyone here seems so enthusiastic about it whilst employer and employee have some terms everywhere by which he can invest and have it count from his salary little by little.
This morning I received a post card from my brother from France he arrived there last Saturday. He has been in England since October and I hadn’t seen him. He tried to get up to hospital here before he went but it was impossible for him to do so. I felt quite disappointed too.
Well I will close hoping this finds you all in good health including Mrs & yourself and the “wee chap.” Remember us all in your prayers including the heroes in France as we remember you all each & every day.