No 1 Company
15th Batt. B.E.F.
My own darling Wife.
At last I have received a letter from you & I need hardly say how glad I am to hear from you, it seems an age since I heard from you before & I was beginning to wonder what was wrong, I have been kept very busy lately & have not had much time to myself, we had quite a long march yesterday to this place where we are now & everyone is feeling very tired to-day, the weather has been very hot & the dust is something awful & makes it very hard for marching, it gets in the eyes & mouth & when one is sweating it sticks on the skin like glue, also it stinks & when the flies are in millions you can guess how pleasant it is, however to-day there was a shower & it looks as if there would be some real rain, which would be a Godsend if it would only lay the dust,. The place where we are now is quite close to the line & the guns are kicking up their row day & night, there are a couple of batteries just beside us, they never quit & it is nearly impossible to get a sleep, now & again Fritzie sends one over but as usual he does not get his target, he comes mighty close sometimes but that is as near as he ever gets, also his aeroplanes come over, but they make more noise than they do damage, they don’t frighten us anyway, it sounds funny, but we are so used to the planes now, we can tell which is ours & which is Fritzes by the noise they make & it is quite amusing to hear the remarks passed by the boys when they are woke up at night, if it is a Fritzie they swear & wish him all kinds of bad luck, but if it is ours there is not much said, but some-one will say, Go to it old boy, give ‘em H – l. & everyone will go to sleep again.
On Dominion day the whole Battn paraded down to the Corps Sports, which were held some miles back of the line, it was a great day, Premier Borden was there, also the Duke of Connaught & General Currie & a lot of other big nobs, our first Division won all the honours, the other Divisions being completely out of it, they scored 101 points, the nearest to that being the 2nd Div with 57 points, I have a man in my platoon who won the boxing championship at his weight & we are all very proud of him as he defeated all comers at his weight in the Canadian Corps. The finest sight of the day was the Massed Pipers Bands, this was a sight that I will never forget, there were 467 pipers & drums altogether, this constitutes a worlds record, they played several tunes marching up & down the field & then some dances, & although there were so many playing they kept perfect time, it was a never to be forgotten sight to see this big crowd of men in different tartans surrounded by thousands of Khakie clad troops, while one side of the ring was taken up by grandstands occupied by officers & nursing sisters & other Allied officers in their gay uniforms, there were British, French, Belgian Italian Portugese & American, in fact I think every country except Germany was represented, & one might nearly say they were there too, for one of their Aeroplanes flew over in the fore noon, but at a very great height, during the day one of our aeroplanes did some stunts over the Arena, such as looping the loop & diving till he nearly touched the ground, he sure did some daring stunts, several times I could feel the hair on my head rising, when it looked as if he was going to be dashed to pieces & several of the Nursing Sisters yelled & covered their eyes, but he knew what he was doing & finished up all right.
I guess I must have missed some letters from you as this one is the first intimation I have had of your change of address, I hope you will like your new place all right, dear, but it is too bad that you had to move at all, if you had been getting your money regular, you would have been all right, it is very queer that they are holding your money till the end of July when the Pay Master here told me that you would get it right away, however, dear, I hope everything is all right now & that you wont have any more trouble. I am glad that you have got such a nice garden, but you must not work so hard on it, dear, I am afraid it will be too much for you, how I wish I could be with you to help you, I wouldnt let you work so hard.
I am very sorry indeed to hear about Georges ankle & I think you are right in getting the ankle supports right away before it gets too bad, I wouldnt like to see him grow knock kneed, it will be a good thing too to get him glasses, as his good eye will be sure to get weak in time, I am so sorry, dear, that you should have had so much trouble with the children, they were such a joy to us when we were together, but when the management fell all on your shoulders without any help from anyone it was a different thing, it is just as well, dear, that we did not have any more, or you would not have been able to manage at all, when I get home, love, we will have more, but then I will be with you all the time & I will never leave you again, so that we will be able to share the trouble between us & I hope the next one will not be so delicate as George has been, but be more sturdy like Eileen.
I am glad that the children are learning to swim, it is a good healthy exercise & is most useful, I hope you will send me the paper with their photos in it, I would like to see it very much. I am glad, too, that you sold the whiskey, dear, it was very good of you to think of it, but the money was more use to you than it was. I am afraid it was not much good demanding my discharge, dear, as it is very hard to get out of the army once they get you in it, even the three months leave to Canada has been stopped & at the present time it is nearly impossible to get a leave of any kind let alone getting a discharge, unless one is physically unfit, unfortunately perhaps, I am too healthy, I think at the present time I am healthier & in better condition than I have ever been, but that does not alter the fact that I would like to get out of it & get home again, at any rate, if not for good, at least for a three months furlough, the wives of Imperial soldiers in England are writing to the papers about their husbands being away for two years & saying what a shame it is, but I will soon be four years away & no sign of getting home yet, it is pretty hard, & what makes it harder is the realization that every trip in the trenches lessens ones chance of getting home at all, however, dear one, we must make the best of it & hope for the best, I only hope that some notice will be taken of your demand & that something will come of it at last, You & I have had our share of trouble dear, & there is nothing in this world that I would like better than to get home to you again, to take care of you & love you & look after you, to be able to wake up at night & find you by my side with your arms around me & your head pillowed on my breast, I wonder love, if those happy days are going to come again, if they are, they cant come a minute too soon for me, what so you say love, how would you like me to get up on a Sunday morning & make you a cup of tea & a slice of toast & then get into bed again with you & cuddle & love you as you like to be loved, would’nt that be fine, do you think you would like that, dear one. I must close now, dear, as there is not much more I can say, I have given your regards to the boys & Bristow & they all wish to be remembered back to you, Kiss our darling children for me dear & give them a big love from daddy, I am so glad that Eileen is growing to be such a pretty girl, I would love to see her & George again, take care of yourself, dear, for all our sakes & don’t work too hard, & with all my love & lots of kisses to you my own darling wife, I remain
As ever, Your own loving Husband.