P.S. I have cut Campbell out altogether, he has been making an awful beast of himself & has been locked up in the guardroom twice lately for being drunk & disorderly, he is now confined to Barracks & will not be able to get out for two weeks. J.
Dec 27th 1914
My dearest wife,
Xmas is over & I must say I am very glad as this is the most miserable Xmas I ever spent in my life, there were so many things happened & happened so quickly that even yet I dont know where I am at, in the first place, we did not get paid till Saturday, at least half of the company did get theirs on Thursday but the last half had to wait till Saturday, the next thing that happened was, I got a phone message from the bank on Thursday Evg that there was a cheque for 2500 for me from Vernon & that they were sending it to me that same night, but as the P.O. was closed on Xmas day I could not get it till Saturday & this is where my misfortune came in, I was going to go down town to get you & the children something, so I cleaned my uniform up & hung my tunic above my bed while I went out to wash myself, I was away about 15 minutes & when I came back my money was gone, I had put it in my wallet with my photos & stamps & they took everything, even a couple of your letters that I had in the same pocket, you may guess what a state of mind was in, I did what I could to find it I reported it to the Colonels office & got the police in, but in a place like this where men are coming & going all the time, the chances are very poor indeed of ever finding it, I do not know who sent the money, I wish I did, but if I had got it on Thursday morning I would have been home, I wish that whoever did send it, had sent it to you instead, it would have been much better, some of the boys here were very good & clubbed up 1000 & made me take it so that after all I was able to send the children something I am sorry their toys were late for Xmas, but I did the best I could, & I am sending you 1000 as I thought you would appreciate the money more than anything else, so you see dear that things went very bad with me this Xmas. I hope you get into your new House all right & that you had no trouble with the landlord, you need not be afraid that he will take your furniture, he cant touch it, he tried to get me to give him a lien on the furniture for the rent, but I would not do it, there are other people much worse off than he is & he will just have to wait. I suppose you have seen Griffiths, he managed to make the trip all right, but he had an awful time raising the money, he could not get it from his officer, so he got a dollar here & a dollar there till he got the amount, he spun a hard luck story about his mother being very ill & that she was fretting herself to death to see him, he owes quite a lot of money already & that made it doubly hard for him to raise more.
Had Edwards left home yet? It is a wonder he did not come here to join the B.C. Horse as they are still taking on men & there is no troops that I know of at New Westminster going to the front & there are no mounted troops at Vancouver. I had one piece of good fortune the other day which was quite unexpected, I met a chap called John Magee who used to live next door to me in Belfast, he was only a boy when I left home & now he is a driver in the Fire Brigade here & is married & has two children, his sister Sarah is also here & she is also married & has three children, she & I were in the same class at school together & John took me up to her house on Xmas night & I had supper there, you may guess how glad we all were to see each other & talk over old times, her husband has a good job in a wholesale drygoods warehouse here & is fairly well off, they told me that just before they left home, there was a notice of my death in the papers, in which it said that I had been killed in a railway accident in Winnipeg; so you may guess they were surprised to see me I have been down to Johns to day for dinner & had a nice quiet time & on New Years day I am going to Sarahs for supper, the fire hall is just about 10 minutes walk from here & I have a standing invitation to spend my evenings there, which I will be very glad to do, I only wish I had known sooner that they were here, I would have had a much better time; Now dear, I am going to close, as I still feel pretty down in the mouth about that money, but it cant be helped now, I dont expect ever to see it again, I hope George & Eileen got their toys all right & were pleased with them, I hardly knew what best to send, as it was after Xmas when I got them & the stores were pretty well cleaned out, I hope, dear, that you had a better Xmas than I had, if I had got home, I know, we would all have been much happier, but as our minister said this morning, Gods will be done, I am anxiously waiting for a letter from you to hear how you all are. Give George & Eileen a big love & kisses from their daddy & with same to yourself I remain your loving husband.
I am sending you John Magees photo.