August 6th 1915
My darling wife,
Just a line to let you know that I have recd your letters dated July 11th 14th 18th, I got them all at once just after I got the parcel with the ring, which I am wearing now, dear, on the third finger of my left hand, I had quite a job to get it over the knuckle, but once on it cant come off no matter how I try, which is a good job as I would not lose it for the world. I had a letter from A. Edwards at the same time, but he had little news to tell me, he says he does not expect to leave for a month or two yet, you say that he is going to get out of it if he can, but I dont see how he can manage it unless things are worked different from what they were when I was in Victoria. As to the awful risks that Bill Diamond is taking guarding a few prisoners, well, all I can say is, I wish I had his job, I suppose he has his rifle & has been taught how to use it, & unless he shoots himself I dont think he will get much hurt, poor fellow, I suppose it would be a relief for him to be under a heavy shrapnel & rifle fire expecting every moment to be his last or expecting at the least to get a horrible wound, to get away from the awful dangers of the Monashee road, you ought to show this bit to Mrs D, perhaps she will send him out here at once, I would be glad to take him under my wing & give him a nice front seat.
I think there is a mistake about Griffiths going into hospital, the last I heard of him he was still in Shorncliffe as an officers servant & from what I can hear he is in no hurry to come out here, I got the curl all right also the photo, by the way you dont say if it is Eileens curl or Georges, but I know it must be Eileens because George had no curls & I suppose you are keeping his hair cut short, I also got the letter from your brother George, I see he has been in it too & feels pretty much the same as I do, however, I am glad to know that he is all right so far & I hope he will pull through without accident, I am going to write to him, but I dont think that there is much chance of our meeting, as we cant find out where each other is, of course, we never know our luck, we might run across each other by accident; I am glad you are sending me some razor blades as I have not had a decent shave for quite a while & as for the bun & short bread, well, it cant get here soon enough, I am just longing for sight it, but dear, as I told you in my last, dont go spending a lot of money on me, just send me a bit of something now & again, some cigarettes or tobacco, but not too much, for I know how it is with you & I know that you need all the money you have to keep yourself & the children properly. I think I wrote you sometime ago about what I thought of your going to Victoria & I say the same yet, dear, by all means go there, if you think you would like it better, at any rate get away from Edwards, I am sure you must be sick & tired of them, I know I would be, even if you did not go to Victoria, could you not stay somewhere else, I am sure you would be happier & more comfortable away from them, the only thing about Victoria is, that when I go back I may not get a job very handy as I dont know anyone there in business, but on the other hand of course I might just be as bad off in Vernon, so I suppose it is as broad as it is long, if last Winter is a sample of the weather they get in Victoria there is no doubt about it, it would be the best place both for you & the children, but I dont know that the damp atmosphere would be any too good for Georges throat, of course, you have to think of all these things, dear, before you make a move, but do whatever you think best, love, I will be satisfied if you are.
I am sorry if you are not getting my letters regular, for I know how anxious you are, but I always write when I get the opportunity, but it is nearly impossible to write regular as we are moved about so much, of course I could send you field post cards, but I hate the sight of them, as all one can say is I am well, or I am wounded, or I am sick, I would much rather wait a day or two & send a letter, even if it was only half a dozen words, it does not seem so informal.
I am glad you are sending me some socks, dear, we get so much marching to do that they dont last long & they are pretty hard to get out here. I see that drafts are leaving Vernon now for the front & I expect I will be meeting some of the boys out here soon, Happy seems to have got on well, but he will find his work out here a whole lot different from what he has been doing, but I think he will make good if he only keeps away from the booze, this is no place for a man who drinks, he is only a menace to himself & to his comrades, some time ago a soldier had to be shot, because he got drunk in the trenches & it was the best thing to do, of course it sounds hard to shoot a man because he gets drunk, but one drunk man may be the means of losing the lives of hundreds of men & it is better to get rid of one than for that to happen.
You do not say who the Scotch party is that knows me so well & who is going to send me something, I have been puzzling my brains to find out but I cant think who it can be, I am looking forward with curiosity to see what they send me & who they are.
So Bob Stevenson has been made a corporal, my word, he will be stuck on himself wont he. I wonder when he will stop going up, as to Harlow joining up, tell him from me not to think of it, Now dear, you want to know if there is any chance of my getting home from here, my love, if I thought there was the slightest chance I would be home like a shot, I only wish there was, like your brother George I am heartily sick of it all & I only wish that this war was over, unfortunately there does not seem much chance of its being finished yet, but we are all hoping for the best.
Now dear sweetheart, I think this is all I have to say just now, I am still in splendid health & going strong & my only wish is that this thing was over, so that I could get home again to my own dear wife & children, there is one thing dear, you can rest assured that when I do get home, I will never leave it again, I will starve first. Give my little darlings a great big love from their Daddy, dear, & with all my love & kisses I remain, my darling,
Your loving Husband