Ore Hospt. Hastings
My Dear Ones at Home, -
I am still in Ore H. waiting for a vacancy, to be transferred to Ramsgate. It has been raining steady now for 7 days and 7 nights with scarcely a break, It started last Sat. night, and is still pouring down today (Sat 4th) as if it had just commenced.
I am so sorry that it is such weather for Pecover's holiday. The first week has certainly been a miserable one. I got a pass last Monday from 9 A.M. till 11 P.M. & went down to see them. They are staying at a swell boarding house on the sea front. I gave them quite a surprise when I walked in just at lunch time. After lunch Frank & I walked up to see Alfred (Frank's brother) and his wife. I think I told you that Alf. is Franks oldest brother, who works in a large hardware store in Paddington. He is a fine chap too - looks quite a bit like father. Mrs. Alf keeps a swell boarding house in Paddington, but Mrs Frank & Mrs. Alf are not on speaking terms.
We went for a walk along the sea shore in the afternoon, and then went in for “high tea” at four o'clock. After tea, Frank took us out for a row until dinner (6.30 P.M) After dinner we went for a walk again until I caught the 9 o'clock train & I was back in the hospital at 10.
The Ernie Pecover that father spoke of is still in a furniture store in Reading. He is a son of Ted Pecover, & Ted Pecover was a brother of father's father. Everyone who sees the snaps of father, says that he is the very image of his uncle Ted
When I can get another pass, I will go down to Reading, the original home of the Pecovers, & visit the different branches of the family there
A couple of days ago, a fine looking young chap in kilts stopped me in the street and said “Hello Markle” He was a perfect stranger to me, and when I told him so, he asked me if I couldn't remember back about 12 or 13 years to McCreary. Then I knew who it was - Eldred Woods, who I used to play with when we were two kids back in the bush. You can imagine how surprised I was to see him, and how in the world he knew me I cannot tell. He has grown into quite a fine looking man, and is in the 43rd Cameron Highlanders from Winnipeg. He has been overseas a long time, and was wounded on the 9th It is astonishing how many chaps you meet over here that you know. Of course there are dozens of 184th boys here at Hastings too.
My arm is just the same, & I suppose will continue so until I get it massaged.
Today the fourth year of the war commences. I wonder how many years it will last yet? I am afraid that we are a long way from the end yet. With the people over here, the optimism of last spring is gone, and they are settling down with a determination to fight on, with no end in sight, but greater horrors & greater sacrifices. And to all appearances the Huns are doing the same.
Now I must close for this time
With the very best love to all
From your boy