May 25th 1916
59907 Scout W.J. Stares
21st Canadian Battalion
2nd C.E.F. 4th Brigade
Dear Mr. Irwin:- I have just returned from a 10 days leave from England, and found your letter of May 4th awaiting me. And say What a merry time I had. We were all home, the first family reunion for 13 years. Was very pleased to hear that my last letter was a service to Mrs. Murphy. She must have had been glad to know that her son was safe and amongst Norwood Boys. I have no yet seen Murphy, but I will and have a quiet chat with him, and bring to his notice the matter of writing home more frequently – I think it is a duty to keep the lines of communication open between here and Home. Yes, my nerves so has stood the strain, and I hope they do, nothing is more horrible to look at than a fellow suffering with nerves ( Shell shock) a complete physical wreck.
My people was interested with the souvernies I had taken home.- especially the book of paintings showing the surrounding country and ruins. They thought it the best of the whole collection- Norwood must look deserted now the Kharki lads are away. All the Norwood Boys here are fine and looking fit. The weather is delightful crope[?] looking splendid. Things have quietened down some, but the Verdun battle still continues Well I am once again back to the hardships – and after sleeping in a nice feather bed for 9 or 10 days it comes hard to sleep in the cellar of a ruined house with nothing but cement to lie on. I know which is the softest. Very pleased to hear that the operation was successful. You seem to be having your own time lately. Have not heard from Mr. Pond so cannot say how he is getting along, the last letter a month again, says he was doing fine, and on the road to recovery. Please remember me to Mrs. Irwin and family, and to the rest of the Kind friends in Norwood. Hoping we shall all meet again sometime. I shall bring my letter to a close for this time