c/o Sergts Mess
5th Res. Bn.
My own dearest one.
Just a few lines to let you know how things are going here, I have not got very much news for you but I must let you know how I am getting along, I would have written to you sooner but I was expecting a letter from you & besides I was not feeling very well, I have been attending the doctor for the last few days & he has put me on light duty, I have been troubled with my stomach for a long time now & they don’t seem to be able to do very much for me here, yesterday morning the doctor sounded my heart & there must have been something wrong for he got his assistant to examine me too, they examined me again this morning & said there was no improvement so I have to go up for an examination in a day or two, I don’t suppose very much will come out of it as I have never been troubled with my heart before, but it is hard to say, there may be something that I don’t know about, & to tell you the truth I hope there is, as it would mean that I would get my category lowered & I would run a better chance of getting sent home. I am going down to Chelsea on a three weeks drill course on the 3rd Dec & I would like to be all right for that, it is a good course to get & I would not like to miss it, it is held in a very historical place, the old Chelsea barracks & the Guards are there, they give the instruction, there is no doubt but I will learn a lot that will be most useful to me. I see by your last letter that the children have got the chicken pox, but from what you say I gather that Eileen is the worst, I hope that by this time they are both all right again, & that they have not suffered much, I see too that you are having cold weather again, I do hope that you will be able to find a nice comfortable place for the winter, but I guess it is pretty hard to get a place at a reasonable price, I saw by the Vernon News that Hawthorne had left Vernon, but I don’t think it was because his wife wanted him to, it was more likely because of conscription you know he is of age to be taken on in the army & I don’t think that he liked the idea of being a soldier. Well dear heart, I suppose by the time this reaches you Xmas will be close, this will be my fourth Xmas from home, it seems an age to me, there is no talk of Xmas over here at all, I am afraid it is going to be a very dull or a very sad Xmas for most people this year, it is going to be both lonely & sad for me, dear, I remember writing to you last year & telling you that I would sure be home for next Xmas & here I am in the same old place & as far off from getting home as ever I was, it is all very well for us to say that if such & such a thing had happened or if such & such a country had done their duty, the war would have been over, but these things did not happen & the war is still carrying on & there are no immediate signs that it will be over for another year at least, oh if I could only say with truth that this will be the last Xmas of the war, how happy I would be, but I cannot say it, dear, for I don’t know, I am sick sore & tired of this life, it has no attractions for me, I want to get home to you & my bairns again & I don’t care if I never see England again if only I can get back to you, you can imagine for yourself what it is going to be like for me, my course at Chelsea will finish on the 24th Dec Xmas Eve & I will probably arrive back in camp here about midnight, it will be deserted as most of the men will be on leave, as nearly everyone here has relations on this side, I will be practically by myself & not a soul hardly to speak to, how can I be happy or feel in good spirits, it is impossible, I hope dear love that you will have a better time & I think you will, there is sure to be a certain amount of gaity in Victoria & I sincerely hope that you & the children will have a real good time & a good old jolly Xmas, you have no idea how sore I feel dear at not being able to send you all something this year, I know perfectly well that it does not seem right, but I cannot help myself I have nothing even for myself & I don’t know what you & the children will think of me, but try & not to think too hard of me, dear, as you know that if I could I would send you the best that could be got; I don’t know that I have very much more to say just now, love, I have not been out of camp since I came back from Bexhill, & it is the same old routine over & over again every day, I am looking forward to getting a letter from you very soon, your letters are so short, you don’t give me very much news or tell me much, but as long as I know you are all well I am satisfied & I would be glad to hear from you if you only said “We are well,” just like the old field post cards. The Elections will soon be on in Canada, I think you have a vote, if you have, dear, vote for the present government & try to induce your friends to do so too for if Laurier gets in it will be an everlasting disgrace to Canada, it will mean that there will be no conscription & that all those slackers will be free & that the handful of Canadians over here will be left to fight it out to the end without getting reinforcements, you can see for yourself what that means, it just means that if the war lasts those of us Canadians who are over here will have to fight till we are wiped out & extinct, we are all voting over here & there is going to be considerable excitement before it is all over & believe me, dear, if this election goes wrong there will be a bad time coming for Canadas rulers when the war is over & the overseas soldiers get home, the people at home have turned down the soldiers vote once, they will have to look out for themselves if they do it again, as the soldiers over here are tired of the way things are being run & are still feeling sore on the prohibition question. Now dear love I think I will really have to close up or you will think that I am getting to be a crank, I hope & trust, dear that you & the children will have a real good merry & bright Xmas & that you will all enjoy yourselves thoroughly, it is a heartbreak to me love that I wont be able to be with you, how we would enjoy ourselves if I could, but alas, it is impossible, but let us hope & pray dear that we may all be spared to be with each other again next Xmas, when I hope to be home for good, kiss my little darlings for me dear & give them both a great big love from their daddy & kiss them on Xmas morning & wish them a Merry Xmas for me, dear, & with all my love to you my dear sweetheart & lots of kisses I remain your own loving Husband
God bless you, dear heart, & give you a real good time this Xmas & coming year is my dearest wish for you. J.