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Date: February 18th 1916

30 Parliamentary Rd




My darling Wife -


My holiday is just about over & I have to leave here to night so as to get back in France on Sunday, I have had very bad weather, snow & sleet all the time & it has been very cold, I cant say that I have enjoyed myself very much, not as much as I thought I would, I find that on account of their husbands being away, Etta & Kate are having a pretty hard time, they have both got large families & can not afford it, Georgina also is having a very hard time her husband has been in hospital for over four years & she has to work, when she can get it & the pity of it is that all the others seem to be down on her & wont go to see her, when George was home two weeks ago, she never knew till after he had left & it was the same with Ettas husband, I have done the best I can for them all to make them a little happier, but I did not draw very much money when I left only six pounds, I gave Etta 30/= & Georgina20/= & to Kate I gave 20/= & I find that I just have about enough to pay for the photographs, I am kind of disappointed as I wanted the money to get something to send you & the children, but when I saw how things were here, I thought it would please you better, to help them out as much as possible, everyone has been very kind to me & they have all tried to make my visit an enjoyable one, every night there has been dancing to a gramophone & a bit of supper, but I cant dance so had to sit & look on all the time, you know I dont care much about dancing, dear, but as long as they enjoyed themselves I did’nt mind. I visited Mr & Mrs. Clarke & they were very kind to me, they invited me to lunch yesterday & I met Alfred & David, Alfred is home on leave from France & is going back on Monday, he gave me his photo to send to you, it is very like hime, Mrs Clarke also gave me an old photo of yours, it is an awfully good one, only it is a little soiled, I am going to keep it, dear, along with the other ones, they all thought that you were dead, it was so long since they had heard from you, David Clark had a letter from a friend of his in Vancouver named David Young, he says you will remember him & the tricks they used to play on you & about them making toast on Saturdays, he has sent him your address, so perhaps you might hear from him some time. I showed the Clarks’ the photos I have of you & the children & they were delighted to know that you had two such bonny bairns, they all seem to wish that you would write oftener to them as I can assure you, dear, they think an awful lot about you, every one that knew you speaks well of you, & I feel quite proud that my dear wife left so many friends behind her. I got my photo taken all right, I paid 21/= for a dozen so they should be good, they are going to send the proofs over to me & I will send them on to you, which ever I pick will be sent to Etta to send to you, I had to promise one to her & Kate & Georgina & the girl that stops with Etta, she has promised to send the rest on to you. I thought I could have finished this letter in Glasgow, but the children would not let me, so I am writing this at the Y.M.C.A. Victoria, London. I left Glasgow last night at 10.30. P.M. & arrived here at 10 A.M. this morning. I leave here at 9-15 in the morning & will be in France to-morrow night; in one way I am not sorry that my holiday is over, this country is full of troops & no matter where you go there is nothing but swank, there are fellows here who have been enlisted since the beginning of the war & they have not been at the front yet & it makes me sore to see them cutting the dash they do round here. I promised you in my last letter that I would send you a map, showing you where I am located, but I am sorry to say that I cant get one, either in Glasgow or here, so the best I can do is to tell you where I am, at present I am stationed at a place called Zwynbak, about 8 miles north of Ballieul, just past the borders of Belgium I am quite convenient to Armentieres & Ypres & sometimes visit these places, but only when I want to visit someone in hospital. Ypres is a hot place & we are continually in Action there, it is the same at Ploegsteert, however, dear, I am quite used to it now & I dont worry very much no matter how bad it gets. I was glad to know that your brother George was all right, I thought that I had got the wrong address when my letter was returned to me, but Kate assures me that it was all right. She told me that she had several letters returned to her & she thought that he had been killed & then she found out that he was in hospital, Ettas husband & he were home on leave together about two weeks ago, & from what I can hear, they had a pretty lively time, I am sorry for Georgina, she seems to be the tomboy or fool of the family & everyone is down on her, she cried when I spoke kind of kindly to her & she told me all her trouble, of course I could not do very much, I only wish I could I would only have been too glad to help her for your sake. You dont know how glad I am, darling, to know that you are away from them all, I could not bear to think of you & the children in the surroundings that they live in, I could’nt live there myself, it would kill me in no time,. I was certainly proud of you, dear, when I heard the way everyone spoke of you; I have now seen all your people & you are the only one of the whole lot who is really any good, you are my wife, my darling, my only love, you are more to me than any one else on earth, you are my only desire, this holiday has been a failure, so far as I am concerned, just because you were’nt here, I thought I would have a good rest, but I did’nt, I am more disappointed about my money than any thing else, as I had figured on sending you & the children some things from Glasgow, but when I saw the hard times there, I kind of felt it my duty to try & make them a little happier than they were, although now I think I was foolish, but at the time I thought it would please you. When you write to any of them, dont say that I said anything about them being in hard luck, I dont think they want you to know anything about it. Well, dear, I am going to close now, I will write you again as soon as I get back to Flanders, & tell you how I get back, I leave here at 9-15 in the morning for Folkstone & Bouglonge & to morrow night I will be back with my Company. This would have been a splendid holiday, dear, if you had only been with me, it would have made all the difference in the world, just to be able to see your dear face again, like what it was in Victoria, do you remember, those few days, dear, when we were together, before I left Canada, I can never forget them, many a time I think about George finding me in the hotel that night & about the Sunday we spent at the sea side & how happy you & I were just because we had each other, I am always looking forward to a repetition of that time, when you & I will be together again, dear, for all time, & there wont be anything to separate us again. God bless you, my darling & take care of you & our own dear children till I come home again, I hope it wont be long now. & when I do get home, we will have no one to worry about but our own selves, I will spend the rest of my days loving you & trying to make your life as happy as it is possible to do & try to make up to you all that you have missed, I am going to bed now, darling, & must close, give my little darlings a great big love & lots of kisses, & dear Sweetheart, with all the love in my soul to you, I remain as ever

Your faithful husband





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