XXXXXXXXXX Sept 22nd 1915
My darling Wife:
I feel like a new man this morning because I got a letter from you & two parcels last night, I was completely down in the dumps but now I am all right because I know you are all well, one of the parcels had the Razor blades & the other one had the locket, it is very pretty, I put a lock of hair in each side & I am wearing it on my wrist same as a wrist watch, I had quite a time getting the hair in but I managed it all right. I guess Whiten is doing quite a business in souveniers just now, it is quite a scheme using Militia buttons, I suppose they make all kinds of things out of them, if I get a chance I am going to send you a set of 48th Buttons, that is 5 large & 6 small ones, they look very nice, but I wont send them till I know if you received the badges & the German belt buckle all right. Things have been disorganized with us lately, but everything is all right now, you see, the 2nd Contingent are all here now & it was while they were coming over that traffic was suspended, I dont think it will make any difference to us, their being here, I guess we will have to keep on working in the same old way. Since I started this letter (the was this morning & it is evening now) I have had to take a working party out & have only just got back, the boys hate these working parties but the work has to be done, so there is no use kicking. So you tell me Harlow has gone to Vancouver, has he got a job there or has he just gone on spec, I hope he gets on all right, did he take his wife with him? I am rather disappointed that he did now write to me & I never got the parcel you said he was going to send. & I have never heard from the Scotch woman you were telling me about, I wonder if it was Mrs Taylor whose Husband worked in the fruit union, they lived somewhere behind the Presbyterian Church, they are the only Scotch people I know of who knew anything about me, Bob Stevenson knew them pretty well, he used to kill their chickens for coming into his garden. I dont think Harlow could do very much for me, if I ever went to Vancouver, in fact I would’nt think of asking him, he was never one to put himself about very much for anyone, he is too easy going. I am very proud indeed to think that the children bought the locket with their own money, the little darlings, I am glad they have not forgotten their dad, but dont let them buy any more jewelry dear, as I might only lose it or get it broken. I am glad to know that you have got settled down in your new house & that you dont think any more of going to Victoria, you have more friends in Vernon & besides, I think you would soon get tired living in a city, I know I would, I much prefer a quiet place to live, but if everything goes all right when I get home, we might take a trip there once in a while, the change would be good for us. does Muhowskie ever bother you at all now, dear, if so, dont let him, I think if I was you I would put the whole matter before Mr Clement & let him fix it up for you, I dont think he would let the bold Muhowskie bother you very much more. Are you still getting anything from the Patriotic fund & if so, are you getting your proper share, you dont want to let them do you out of anything that is coming to you.
I am glad that your lady friends are taking such an interest in the children & that they are going to take their photos, dont forget to send me one, dear, I still have the ones you sent me, but if you can send me a new one now & again I can see how they are getting on. As I said in some of my previous letters, dear, it is an impossibility for me to get home, there is no such thing as getting leave to go from here to Canada & back, the Government would’nt stand for it, it would cost too much, so the only thing to do is to get this old war finished & then I would get home for good, of course if a fellow got wounded very bad he might run a chance of being sent home, but I dont want to get wounded if I can help it, I want to go home to you with a whole skin if I can, dear, as to instructors, I guess they have all they need out there, if not, they’ll soon learn all there is to know when they come over here, a little practical experience, is better than all the teaching in the world. I am glad that you have heard from your brother, I hope he is all right & still going strong, it is too bad that I cant get in touch with him. I hope to get a weeks leave in about a couple of months & if I do I will go to Glasgow, it would be nice if he could get away too at the same time, but of course that would be only chance, it would be impossible to arrange. It is certainly news to me that any one could have bought themselves out of the army for 15 dollars, I never heard of it when I was in Victoria, nor did any of the other boys, I guess they wont get many to pay the 50 dollars they are asking now, I would’nt have paid the money, even if I had known about it, I think it is most cowardly, I guess Edwards will find it too much money to give away at once, I am afraid he will have to come now whether he likes it or not. It never rains but it pours, I have just had another letter handed to me from you, this last one is dated Aug 20th & the one I got last night was dated Aug 29th, that shows you how the mail gets mixed up sometimes, the photo of your step sisters children is very good, they are a fine looking bunch of youngsters, I hope their father reached the Dardanelles safely, they are having a pretty hot time there, but I hope it will soon be over, once they drive the Turks back they will have the worst of it over. I am glad that you did not have to get Georges throat operated on, but from what you say about his breath, I am afraid you will have to get it done, if so, the sooner it is done the better, he wont feel it so much now as he will later on, I am glad to hear about him being such a little man, I sure am proud of him & Eileen too, just imagine her wanting to give her curls to the soldiers poor wee dear, I guess she would give all she has just to please them. So Harwood has joined the Medical staff, how many more times is he going to join the army, I suppose he thinks he is going to have a snap, if he ever gets out here he will find out different, in an engagement they have to work very hard & they run more risks than anyone else, I would’nt care for the job. I see Boyd is back again, I suppose he is the whole cheese now, have they got anyone in Harlows place or are they going to do without, I suppose they will if they can. And now dear heart I think I have come to the end of my tether, when I started to write this letter I did’nt think I would have so much to say, I started to write this morning but I have been interrupted so often that it is now bedtime, I am sleeping in a dugout with three other fellows, it is not so bad, there is a roof of branches & sods that serve to keep to dew off us, so we are fairly comfortable, only for the rats, I think all the rats in the world must be congregated round this part of the world, they run all over us at night & eat our grub, & generally make themselves quite at home. So now dear I close with fondest thoughts of you & home, Oh, how I wish I could be with you, just to have you in my arms, to hug you, to love you, to be with you always, only to have you by my side once more, what would I not give for such bliss, but the good time will come, sweetheart, never fear, & then you & I, dear, will make up for all this lost time & believe me we will enjoy ourselves - wont we. Kiss the children for me & give them both a great big love & with all my love & kisses, I remain. Your loving Husband. Jack