My Dear Janet
I received your most welcome letter on Friday evg & am glad to hear that you are all well, but, dear, I am very very sorry indeed that you should all feel so lonely, it is hard, God knows, but what can we do, I am lonely too, although there are so many of us here, somehow I feel as if I were by myself, if it were not that I have so little time to myself I dont know what I would do, but I am here now & we have to make the best of it.
I am surprised that Mr. Vallance did not send the things up that he promised, but I suppose that he thought that the money from the fund would cover everything, still it is funny that they should send more to Mrs. Campbell than to you, because they told me that all should get the same, however, you need have no compunction about using the money as I have safely passed the doctor & am now fixed here permanently.
We went out to Esquimalt yesterday & got all our outfit, I got a tunic, 2 pair pants, 2 heavy shirts, cap, overcoat, 2 suits good heavy underwear, 2 pr socks, 1 pr boots, 1 pr Rubbers, 1 pr slippers, pair braces, 2 pr shoe laces, Hair brush, clothes brush, comb, razor, shaving brush, all of the very best quality, I feel quite comfortable now. I guess we all looked a pretty rough lot before we got the outfit, but you should see us now, we look quite Smart, we also got putties, & they keep the legs nice & warm as well as neat looking.
I am certainly surprised about Bob Stevenson, I thought he was a fixture, I’ll bet he feels good & sore about it, I wonder what he will do now, he told me, just before I left that if ever he got laid off he would join the army, in fact he felt like throwing up his job to join anyway. So we will see, I would just like to bet that he has changed his mind already. I guess Mann worked his boy in there pretty good, there is one thing about Mann, if he is slow, he is persistent.
Some of the boys from Vernon were kind of jealous, because I was made a Lance Corporal, Bob Griffiths especially, he seems to think that because he was in the navy, he should have been promoted, as it is, he has no reason to kick, he is one of the most slovenly in the ranks & is always getting called down for not drilling properly, he claims he knows all the drill & he knows nothing, as it is, I may lose my stripe any day, as nearly all the non-coms & being reduced & those that are kept have seen active service in the regular army, so if I am reduced it will be no disgrace, as I will only be giving way to a senior. We are all anxiously waiting for pay day, we will only get paid up to the 10th so that we wont have very much coming to us this time, I want to get a couple of towels & a sweater & stamps & writing paper, but I will send you what I can, I need the sweater for the early morning when we do our run & physical exercise as the tunic is too tight for that, & it is too cold for shirt sleeves. I expect we will get paid to morrow, everything is so mixed up here that I have not had a chance to find out about getting my pay sent home, but later on, when things get properly settled, I will be able to look after it properly. I have got rid of my cold, all but a slight running at the Head, but now that I have got my warm clothes, I will soon shake it off. As you say, we had a good send off from Vernon all right & it was very nice, but there was 150 men from Prince Rupert got in here the day after us, & when they left home, every man got $11.00 & pipe & tobacco & sleeping cap; Vernon is all right for making a noise, but when it is going to cost anything, the stop right there, I did not see the Mayor or any of the Aldermen at the Station, & in a way I am just as glad, as I know that everyone I shook hands with that day, was a friend.
We have been having lots of rain here, too, same as you & one night we had snow, the parade ground out here is a regular bog, which makes it very tiresome marching. it is also much colder than it was when we left Vernon & there is always a cold breeze blowing off the sea, by the way, we are only ¼ mile from it & when we are marching we always go along the sea shore, the scenery is very pretty but rough.
I dont know that I have anything more to say just now, I wish I was nearer to you so that I could tell you all this, without having to write it I could tell you so much better, but I will be writing to you again in a day or two, for you know dear, I am constantly thinking about you & George & Eileen, poor little dears, how I wish I could see them now, I would give anything to have you all with me again, but Gods will be done, let us hope it will not be long till we are all together again, & I trust that if anything, we will be fonder of each other than ever. Give them both another great big love from Daddy & with the same to yourself I remain
Your loving husband
Kisses for George & Eileen & yourself