No 1 Coy. 2 Platoon
15th Bn. Canadians.
My own darling Wife -
I am sure when you see the above address that you will be very much surprised, but yes dear, it is a fact, I am back again with the old battalion & do you know, in a way I am glad to be back again, I did not get time to let you know I was coming before I left England, I only had a day & a half to get everything ready & move out, & the party that I came out with were shot right up the line to the Batt. I have been kept very busy ever since & have not had much time to myself as things are moving very quickly just now, as I suppose you have seen by the papers, but believe me, dear, things are not nearly so bad as the papers say, I firmly believe that the end is now in sight & that the war will be over some time this year. Things are a whole lot different now to what they were when I was here before but many of the old conditions still prevail, for one thing we have better billets when we are out of the line & the food is good & fairly plentiful, we are feeding much better than they are in England, but of course it is rougher, there are still a few of the old boys around yet & they were all glad to see me again, they gave me a great welcome, Billy Bristow is one of them & the first thing he asked me was, about you & the children, especially Eileen whom he called his sweetheart, I don’t suppose you remember him, but I am sure you remember the night we went to the picture show in Victoria & we met some of the boys outside the door & went in with them, well, Eileen sat on Bristows knee & we remarked at the time how content she was & the way she took to him, a stranger, he has never forgotten her & when I showed him some of the photos I have, I had to give him one. Andy Campbell is still around, he is just the same old two & six, he is the Colonels groom which is a pretty good job & he looks just the same as ever. When I got here there was some mistake about my rank, the people in England had me as reverting to Acting Corporal so when I came here they reverted me to a Private, of course I paraded at once & saw the Adjutant & when I explained to him he said he would take the matter up with the Base office, the Colonel was there & gave me permission to wear my stripes till they found out what my rank was, word came through last night & I am still a L/Sergt, this is a confirmed rank & I am senior L/Sgt in the Batt any promotion I got after I left the Batt to join the Trench Mortars does not count, so that point is settled, I don’t intend to go back to the Trench Mortars as I would rather stay with the Batt, I wish now that I had stayed with the Batt in the first place, I would have been further ahead to-day, I had a letter from you since I came here, it was sent on by the reserve & you mention about me coming home on leave some time soon, well dear, there was mighty little chance of getting any leave to Canada from England except for first division men & at any rate leave had all been stopped even for them when I left, if it is at all possible to get it I will get it here ever so much quicker than I would in England & I am not at all losing any hope, I am so sorry, dear, to hear about the childrens throats, I thought that after all the treatment they had got that they would not be troubled any more, I think you are perfectly right not to pay the Dr any more money, he cant be much good & I think he has already had more than he is worth.
I would be very glad indeed, dear, if your sister Georgia & her children could get out to you, it would be such company for you, I don’t see why she could’nt go without making any Subterfuge about it, I don’t think that Frank Connoleys idea would be a very good one, at any rate it is not a nice one, I know there are certain difficulties about anyone emigrating to Canada, I don’t know what the conditions are, but I would think that if she would state the plain truth, that she was going to live with relatives who would look after her, that she would be able to make it, I would only be too glad to have her with you, because I know how lonely you are & besides being company she would be quite a help to you. It is too bad that you picked on such a cold house, but now that the winter is over & the warm weather coming in, it wont be so bad. I got interrupted in the middle of this letter & had to go out on a working party, we were out all night, & the worst of it was, a thunderstorm came up & it sure did rain, fortunately I had my overcoat so I was not so bad, but got pretty well covered with mud, were were just behind the front line & right behind us there was a battery of guns, they kicked up an awful racket most of the time as there was an attack on our flanks, but we were not troubled at all, we were all mighty glad to get into our billets again this morning as we were all very tired & wet, but now that we have all had a sleep we are all right once more. I have thought quite a lot about your sister Georgia going out to you & I only wish she were there now because I can realize how much you need her, I don’t care what means you or her use to get her over so long as she gets there take that 50$ war loan & send it to her if it will do any good, because I want you to have company & the best company you can have is your own sister, Frank Connolly may be all right, but he is not the right kind of company for you & is not the proper person to help you out. Now dear love I don’t want you to worry or get down hearted because I am back in France, I am all right & in perfectly good spirits, my thoughts are continually with you & our dear children & you can rest assured that I am taking every care of myself for your sakes. Place you trust in God, dear heart, & remember me & help the children to remember their daddy, who loves you all so much, there is nothing in the world that keeps a mans spirits up in this dreadful holacust of war as the knowledge that his loved ones are well & that they still love & remember him although so long away & I know dear that you love me & you know that I love you, so what else matters so long as we have each other, so keep up your heart dear, every cloud has a silver lining & the darkest hour is before the dawn are old sayings & I have a feeling that it is not going to be a very long time before we see each other again.
Kiss my little darlings for me & tell them that daddy loves them all the time very much & tell them to remember & love him too, & with all my love & kisses for you my own darling wife I remain as ever, though so far away
Your own loving Husband.
This is written in one of the best dug outs I have ever been in, it is about 20 feet below the ground & has bunks in it for every one of us, it is absolutely shell proof & goes to show what an improvement has been made from the old days when we were content to be covered by a sheet of corrugated iron & a few sandbags, there is about 30 of us in here. J.