July 19th 1915
My darling wife.
I am still in the same place as I was when I wrote you last, in the trenches, but I expect to be going out to billets in a day or two, I have recd three letters from you this time & I am very glad to hear that you are all well, but I see that you are very uneasy about me, dear, now I want you to stop worrying sweetheart, I am all right & I am taking good care of myself, of course there are risks to be run in a business like this, but then one takes risks anyways in any walk of life; I am in the best of health & I am burned almost black with the sun, I never would have thought that I would be able to stand sleeping in the open air night after night, sometimes soaked to the skin, without catching a cold or something, but there it is, I have not got even the slightest cold & I am as fit as a fiddle.
I hope the children have got rid of their colds by this time, you say Eileen wants to know if I want another curl, of course I do, bless her, I still have the curl she gave me in Victoria, I call it my mascot, & dear wee George, I wish he had curls so that I could have one of his, but what I would like better than anything would be to have you all in my arms again, you say you are lonely & I know you are, dear, God knows I am & many a night I lie awake thinking of you all, you know we are about 8 hours ahead of you here & sometimes I think to myself about 10 OC at night, well, it is just about 2 O.C, in the afternoon in Vernon & Janet & the youngsters will have had dinner & will be going down town & I can follow you in my minds eye walking down, George & Eileen running on before, till you come to the P.O. & perhaps you get a letter from me & you are glad & you tell the children about what daddy says & I think I can see them looking up at you while you read & asking, when will daddy come home mamma, & then I think I can see you going on down the street, looking in the shop windows & then you go home, I can follow you all the way in my minds eye, & I can see you making yourself a cup of tea & working round till bed time, I can see you putting my darlings to bed & hear them saying their prayers & oh dear love, my heart grows so heavy because I am so far away from you, I wish that something might happen so that I could get home quick & put this awful nightmare of war behind me for ever, but the best we can hope for is that peace may soon be declared & then we will soon be together again, I really dont think that this war can last very much longer, I think the Germans have got pretty near enough & I would not be surprised if they sued for peace very soon.
So Mrs. Edwards has got another son, well I must say she is certainly going strong, one every year is all right, is she going to keep it up, but I suppose she cant if Arthur goes away, she will be quite disappointed, if she does not have another one next year, at any rate I would rather have my two little darlings than all her swarm, I am rather surprised about Arthur, I always thought he was a great man to have round a house, that in fact he did everything that had to be done & helped his wife all the time, but then again, my own private opinion was that he was lazy & not much good for anything but sitting in a wagon, perhaps he will make a good soldier though, is there any word yet of his regiment moving out here, they should soon be ready now they have had quite a bit of training.
I wrote to Harlow the other day I hope he got my letter all right, I am going to write to Mr Hawthorne soon, just as soon as I can get time to write a decent letter, I suppose Vernon is pretty gay just now with all the soldiers knocking about, have they all got uniforms yet?.. it is nice to see a lot of smart fellows in new uniforms, but they soon get shabby when they come out here, there is no such thing here as having the buttons & badges polished & shoes shined & all that, the only thing we take care to keep clean is our rifle & that was the last thing we thought of when we were in Victoria.
I suppose you are still stopping with Mrs. Edwards, I wish you were out of it it must be rotten for you there with all that swarm of children to look after, is there no place else where you could stop, what about Mrs. Wilson, I am sure she would be glad to have you for a while & I am sure she would not charge you much, at any rate I think that anywhere would be better than staying on where you are, perhaps you are still thinking of going back to Victoria, well, if you are, I am sure you would like it very much, there is no doubt about it it is a much nicer place than Vernon & then you would have more variety, but please yourself, dear, go wherever you think best, but get away from Mrs. Edwards as soon as you can, for I am sure you are working yourself to death while you are with her & I dont like it. At any rate I want you when I come home to be as I left you, I dont want to see you worried or worked to death. I wonder if you would send me about 25₵ worth of Sabadilla powder, I wish you would, you could tell them to put it in a tin box, they would do it if you told them where it was going, it is a lice powder, they are awful here, they are in the ground, the billets, & the trenches & everyone has them, we get a powder issued to us, but it is not much good, I manage to keep fairly clean, but I cant do it all the time if I dont have a good preventative.
I believe the B.C. Horse are at Shorncliffe now, & I expect we will see them over here soon. I have just heard that Bob Griffiths is still at Shorncliffe, the officer whose servant he was has been over here some time now, but when he came, Bob got transferred to another officer, if he keeps it up he is liable to get through this war without a scratch, unless one of those raiding Zepplins drops a bomb on him.
I must close now, dear, remember me to all my friends, give George & Eileen a great big love from daddy, I will send their post cards as soon as I can get near a town to buy some, & with all my love to you my dearest wife,
I remain your loving Husband-