No 18 Ward
6th Sept 18
My own darling Wife -
I was going to write to you before this but I have been putting it off every day as I was expecting one from you & I had made up my mind to write to-day whether I got one or not, I am glad to say it arrived this afternoon & you have no idea how glad I was to hear from you & to know that you are all well, I am getting on fine now but I have had a few bad days, the wound on my back is getting smaller every day but is too big to be stitched up yet, I think the doctor was jollying me when he told me he would stitch it in a week or two, the orderlies gave me a bath the day before yesterday & I was surprised to see how thin I had got in such a short time, I must have lost an awful lot of blood as there is practically no circulation in my hands & feet & they go quite dead & there is no feeling in them, my left arm is still practically useless but I am beginning to be able to move it forwards but not backwards, I am also able to get up for a while in the afternoons & walk about the ward, but I am easily tired & after a turn or two up & down the ward I am glad to be down for awhile & rest, but I am getting stronger every day & another month should make a vast difference, I get an egg for breakfast & one for tea, & I usually get a nice cup of tea in the forenoon, my diet is light at present but I will be getting more later on, my worst trouble is cigarettes, they are awfully hard to get here & I have to go without for days at a time, they issue 10 a week to us but they only last one day. We had a very bad thunderstorm yesterday afternoon & the Sisters room at the end of this ward was struck, fortunately no one was hurt but we all had our wind up proper, the crash was awful, but all the damage that was done was the electric light wires were all fused & all the papers on the Sisters desk were burned, it rains here nearly every day & I feel the cold far more when it is wet & it makes my rheumatism ache. I am awfully glad to know that your garden is such a success; I am sure the children enjoy picking the peas all right, but it does not give you much chance to cook them, it is a pity you did not have a few more hens like the one you have, you would have lots of eggs then. It must be great fun to watch George washing himself with the hose, I bet he enjoys it all right, I wish I was at home I’ll bet I’d make him run. I see you met Mrs Stroud, I suppose Teddy still works for the C.P.R. in Vernon. And now, dear, what about Vernon, do you want to live in Victoria all the time or are you going back again, what makes me ask is this, If I should happen to get discharged I am afraid my chances of getting work would be pretty slim in a big city like Victoria where I am not known, whereas if I went back to Vernon where I am known, I think I would have a much better chance of getting something to do, besides I know the president of the Veterans Association there, his name is McCurdy & he & I were in the same platoon when he got wounded at Festubert, he lost an eye there, & he is one of the old 30th boys; so that all things considered my chances would be much better in Vernon, you know, dear, we have the future to look forward to & although Victoria is a very nice place to live, still if I did not manage to get work we should be much worse off there among strangers than we would be at home, for I will always call Vernon home.
I see by your letter that you have met Dave Willis & Joe Tomkins, I don’t remember meeting Tomkins in France, but I do Willis, I think it was at a place called Anzin-St-Aubin & I think he was with a labour battalion, I did’nt know he was going back to Canada, how did he manage it?
Well dear, I don’t think there is anything more I can say now. You know we dont get much to talk about in a hospital except each others ailments, besides I cant write a long letter yet as my hands get cramped & tired very easily. Give my love & kisses & a big Hug to George & Eileen from Daddy & with all my love & lots of kisses to you my own darling Wife
I remain as ever,
Your own loving Husband