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Date: August 22nd 1915

August 22nd, 1915

J. McNeill

No 77681

4 Platoon 1 Company 15th Battalion 48th Highlanders Reg




My darling Wife.


I was going to write to you yesterday, but I put it off till to-day (Sunday), because I thought sure there would be a letter for me & sure enough there was, it seems that I have started at a bad time though, as a bombardment has just started & it is hard to say how long it is going to last, at any rate they are firing over our heads as I am not worrying much, but the noise they make is distracting, to say the least of it. I was going to send you a post card as I have little or no news to tell, but on second thoughts, I thought I might as well write a letter as I know you will like it much better. I am very glad indeed that you have taken a house to yourself at last, you should have left Edwards long ago, however, you are away from them now & I am sure you will be much more comfortable & you will be able to do more as you like, how are you off for furniture etc, are you able to get what you need, at any rate, dont send me anything more until you have everything you want, dear, because I know that you will need all the money you can lay your hands on, As for Mr Muhowski, I only wish I had him here, I would certainly give him all he is asking for, I will make it one of my first duties when I get home to see him & tell him what I think of him, he ought to be in the internment camp along with the other aliens, for I dont think he is a Russian at all, but a German jew & if I was at home now I would see if I could not get him put in there, he is a dirty rascal & you can tell him if you see him that I said so..


I am sorry to say that we have lost one of the Vernon men who left with the same party as I did, his name was Rendall, he drove team for the Hudsons Bay for a while & he was a brother-in-law to Charlie Simms, I have written to Charlie about it & told him to break the news to Mrs R. I thought it better to do that, than write to herself, as I really did not know what I could say to her, it is hard to write some things in the proper way, he was killed while out with a working party repairing some trenches, when the enemy started shelling them & it was while he was trying to get out to shelter that a piece of shell hit him on the back & pierced his kidneys, he did not suffer very much, but died the same night, he was a man whom everyone liked, fearless in battle, a thorough gentleman & a staunch comrade, we all miss him greatly, but I am sure not so much as his wife & family, I think he had four children & was 48 years old.


I am sorry to hear about Annie Shaddick, she was an awfully nice girl & I liked her very much, it is too bad that she should have been treated in such a dastardly manner & her friends (they dont deserve the name) might have warned her about him, he might have got her into serious trouble, express to her my sympathy & tell her not to worry, the right man will come along all right & then she will soon forget her trouble, I hope she does come to Vernon, she will be company for you; I wrote to Arthur Edwards the other day & I gave him a rub about all the fellows quitting, I dont suppose he will like it, but at any rate, he will know what we think about it out here, I told him we did’nt want any quitters, they would be much better at home, perhaps he will tell Harwood, he wont like it either. I have not received the parcel you sent along with this letter but I expect it will be along to-morrow, nor have I received Harlow’s yet, but I have got all your others, dear, & I can tell you I did enjoy them, it is so awful hard to get anything out here that it is quite a treat to get something from home, besides, things taste so much better when you know that loving hands have bought them for you & sent them, it is pretty miserable in the trenches just now, as we have been having very wet weather & they are full of water, our feet & legs are sopping wet all the time & I shall be mighty lucky if I dont take rheumatism, however, we will soon be going out to Billets again for a few days & I will probably get dried out again, I can tell you kilts are all right in the summer time & for dress in times of peace, but they are a mighty poor rig for the trenches, especially for a man of my age, who never wore them before, I hate them & I only wish I could get into an infantry regiment so that I could wear pants again, it might be all right if we were all Scotchmen, but most of us have no more Scotch blood in us than Price Ellisons Cow, however, I suppose I shall have to grin & bear it now that I am in it. I am glad Harlow is sending me some shaving soap, I can do with it all right, I expect I will get it soon, I see by the Vernon News that Mr Vallance have given $25000 towards a machine gun & C Hawthorne has given $1500, well, it is the best thing they could have spent their money on, we cant have too many machine guns out here, one gun is as good as a company of infantry, if not better, if Canada & other countries could only have got these things going when the war started, it would be over now, as it was the lack of guns that kept us back at first, but thank God, that is all over with now & we are the superior party both as regards guns & men, tell the boys in the Hardware how glad I am to see that Vernon is not going to be behind in the matter of guns, it is certainly most encouraging.


I suppose the 4th of August was quite a big day in Vernon, I am looking forward to reading an account of it in the news, I would like to have been there to see it, did you take the children to see the sports, according to the programme they must have been worth seeing. I am glad you managed to pay Dr Morris, dear, many & many a time I have thought about it & wondered if we would ever get it off our heads, I know you will feel a lot happier now, dear, that it is all settled, he was not so bad after all. And I am glad that you did not go to Victoria, I would certainly rather go to Vernon when I go back & if things dont go right there, we could then go to Victoria together, that is, if you still wished it, now just imagine, dear, I was going to send you a post card & here I have written all this, I didn’t think I had so much to say, however I think I am at the end of my tether now & will have to close up, this is Sunday, but it is anything but peaceful, the Artillery is booming all around & they are shelling one of our aeroplanes, but he is too many for them, they cant hit him. I am still in good health, dear, & have nothing much to complain about & I am taking good care of myself, like you, I am looking forward to the time when we shall be together again, I think we are going to be very happy & I am sure I hope it wont be long till we see each other again. Give George & Eileen a great big love for me, dear, & with all my love to you, sweetheart & lots of kisses I remain          Your loving Husband. Jack XXXXX





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