35th Trench Mortar Battery
1st Canadian Division
My darling Wife.
Just a few lines to let you know that I am all right, I have been expecting a letter or a paper from you, but I have been moving around so much lately that probably they have difficulty locating me. I am now back again to the line & I will be going up to the trenches to-morrow, we have got new billets, they are further away from the trenches & are very comfortable, all the batteries are together now & we are attached to the artillery & wear the Artillery outfit, we are billeted here in huts, each battery having a hut to itself, & the Sergeants (there are four of us) have a hut to ourselves & have our own mess, there is also a recreation room & we are quite close to the baths, so you see I am in quite comfortable quarters, I go into the trenches for a week & stay back here for a week, so that the work is not very hard, what we call going into the trenches here is not the same as it was in the Battalion, they go right in & stay there, while we go into another billet closer to the line & only go into the trenches when we want to fire our guns, perhaps we stay there a couple of hours & sometimes we dont go in for days at a time; but of course we have to be up there handy in case we are wanted, I am in splendid health & feel greatly benefited by the rest I have had, only for the cough I was telling you about, I dont seem to be able to shake it off & I cant get anything but pills from the doctor & they dont give me any relief at all, outside of that, I never was better in my life. When I was out for my rest, I met young Gerald Pearson, I met him quite by accident & we were sure glad to see each other, he is looking splendid, he has got to be quite a man, he has struck a good job too, he is a signaller & is attached to divisional Headquarters, which is a long way behind the firing line, his work is mostly on the telephone, from what he says he seems to be glad to have got away from the CMRs, he is having a much better time where he is now, if you happen to see his mother you can tell her that I saw him & that he is looking fine, he thinks an awful lot of his mother & he has not forgotten all his promises to her, I always liked Gerald, he was a good boy & still is. I had a letter from Kate yesterday, her baby has been very sick with her teeth & the pain was so bad that one of her eyes has turned, I hope the child will pull through all right, I think she will be able to get her eye fixed all right, though, I have heard of cases where children with cross eyes have been cured by wearing special kinds of glasses. Kate is very uneasy about George, she has not heard from him for quite a while, I hope he is all right, I believe his regiment has been in action lately & of course he may not have been able to find time to write, she did not mention anything about Georgina or Etta, so I guess they are all right. Talking about the babys eye, makes me think of our George, does his eye ever bother him now, and does it still alter his appearance? let me know the next time you write, dear, how are my little darlings making out with the cold weather, do Georges adenoids bother him at all & is Eileen able to stand the cold any better than she used to, I hope you have lots of warm clothes for them & for yourself, dear, it would just break my heart if anything was to happen to any of you & me so far away from you, somehow I feel so uneasy, I am afraid you have not enough blankets & warm clothes & wood, I think you must have got a very cold house, it is a pity, as I thought you had got such a fine place, of course I know that this has been an exceptionally cold winter, & I am mighty glad that you got away from that old shack on View St, you would have been frozen to death there, how I wish I could have been with you this winter to look after you, to chop up your wood & keep you warm, I know dear, that you must miss me lying beside you as I miss you, do you remember how we used to snuggle into each other when the nights were cold & you used to tell me that I was smothering you, it didn’t take you long to get warm when I was with you, did it dear, well, I am hoping that next winter we will be together again & we will have the same good old times back again, I see by the papers that the Kaiser has promised that the war will be over by April 15th I only hope that he will keep his word, but it seems too good to be true, would’nt it be fine, dear, if it was all to finish up before the summer, so that we could all get back to our homes again, there would sure be some rejoicing, I dont think they would keep us Canadians here long after peace was declared, I think they would pack us off right away & leave the imperial troops to settle things up here. It would sure be a crazy bunch of boys you would see when we got back to Canada, we would take some holding.
I was over to see the boys of the Battalion yesterday, they have been having a pretty rough time of it lately, quite a bunch of them have gone to hospital with rheumatism & influenza & other complaints, they were just getting ready to go into the trenches & I really felt sorry for them, as it was blowing a regular blizzard & was bitterly cold, I saw Andy Campbell there, he is looking very much the same as ever only he is getting very fat & bloated looking, but of course he always had that appearance. I have not got the cake yet dear, but it will probably put in an appearance very soon now; I am looking forward to getting it soon, as I feel that I could eat something tasty.
I have written to Mrs Edwards thanking her for the parcel she sent me, how I envy Arthur, being able to get home on leave & then his regiment being sent back to Vernon, he is certainly lucky, dont you wish it was me, dear, I know I do. I hope you got the Photos all right, what do you think of them, do you think I have changed much, dear, do I look any older than I did when you saw me last? You should get the rest of them very soon now as I wrote & told Etta to send them right away as soon as she got them. I think this is all I have to say now, dear, as usual there is’nt much news to tell, it is getting late now & it is time for me to go to bed, I wish I could be with you, dear to cheer you up & make life happier for you, surely there is a good time coming for us yet, love, so that we can enjoy a bit more of life together. Kiss my little darlings for me sweetheart & give them a big love from their old dad, & with all my love, & kisses for you, my own darling wife, I remain as ever & always:
Your own loving husband.