Willows Camp, Victoria, B.C. January 20th 1915
My Dear Wife.
I received your last letter on Monday also the Vernon news & I am glad to know that you are all well, I saw the notice of poor Bagnalls death in the paper, well, it was to be expected, the poor fellow was only a burden to himself & to his friends & I suppose he worried quite a bit about his brother going away, no doubt, he must have felt very lonely & that as much as anything else would hasten his death, Guy Bagnall left here before he died & has not got back yet, I suppose he will stay in Vernon till everything is cleared up.
You asked in your last letter about the Newell Boys, well, neither one of them is or has been in hospital, they were both discharged from the B.C. Horse, over two weeks ago, because they could not get their parents consent & they left here for Vernon at that time, it is very queer if they have not got home yet, of course, they might have stopped at Vancouver & joined some other regiment, but for such good boys as they were, one would think it hardly likely; you had better see Mrs Newall & tell her that if they have not arrived yet, she had better write to Col Bott or Major Allen & get them to trace them. I had word of Miss Shaddick to-day, one of our stretcher bearers was at church last Sunday night with another girl, & she was asking him about me, so he found out her phone number & told me to-day. I phoned to her about ½ an hour ago, & she told me to call around to-morrow night if I could, I dont know yet whether I will be able to go or not, as I might have to go on a night march, we should have gone to-night, but we have had a very heavy field day & we are all to tired to do any marching to-night, we left camp this morning at 9 O.C. in heavy marching order, that is with blankets, overcoat, Haversack with lunch in it & water bottle, & canteen tin etc, all on our backs, we marched about 7 or 8 miles & then did a sham fight and some manouveres & got back to camp at 5-30, I know this does not sound very much on paper, but I can tell you it is pretty hard work, the most of the men are in bed & feeling pretty well played out. As I told you in my last, the Hon Sam [?] was to have inspected us yesterday, but he did not arrive & now we dont expect him before Saturday, To-morrow Parliament is to be opened at Victoria by the Lt Governor & I have been picked on the Guard of Honour to receive him & escort him to the Parliament buildings, I am rather proud of this & besides I am glad to get the opportunity of seeing the ceremony. Of course you know that I have been made a full Corporal, I am proud of this also, because there are lots of men here who have had more experience than I have but they cant be trusted, for instance, we had a Scotchman in our company who had been a sergeant in the Scottish light Infantry, and when we came here he was made Senior Sergeant of the Coy; but he got to drinking & was reduced to Corporal & the other day he got drinking again & was reduced to the ranks, he is not the only one, every few days, some one is getting reduced & it is only best who are being promoted, I am not blowing my own horn when I say this, because Capt Potts told the Coy so, & he is a man who is very strict & whatever he says, goes, of course it means more work & it is only 10₵ a day more & the responsibility is greater, but I dont mind that, I am going to work hard now to get my three stripes for Sergeant & then I will be all right, but that will take some time.
I am glad you are going to get some photos of the children I would like to have one very much also one of you, get the three of you taken together if you can, you dont know how much I would like to see you all, I will get mine taken again, dear, but I will get a better one taken this time, it will cost a little more but it is worth it.
I will try to write Percy on Sunday, I wont have time before that. It was Campbell who told me that Harlow was in Victoria & I believe he was told by someone else, at any rate I have not seen him yet & I think if he was here, he would have come to see me It is getting late now dear & I will have to close up & get to bed but I will write to you again as usual on Sunday, I am keeping all right only for a slight cold, kiss the children for me, dear, & with all my love & kisses to you, my darling wife, I remain
Your loving Husband – Jack