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Date: January 3rd 1915

Jan 3rd/15

Dear Mother

I have got as far as Leeds. Tomorrow I will go to York, and from there to Scarborough and Whitby, and then to Edinburgh.  Then, sad to relate, I will have to go back to stew, stew, and more stew, not to say Reveille and Fall in.  I wont go to bed tonight at lights out, nor I wont get up at Reveille.

I was trying to get a Presbyterian Church to go to to-day, but instead I went to a Unitarian.  When I was going away from Church a young lad came up and said “Excuse me, are you alone”  I said “yes”  He said “Well, if you have no other engagement, will you come home with me to dinner, I should like to have you come”.  I said “No I have no engagement would just as soon go” He said “Come along then”

And so I went home with him.  It was a pretty classy place.  His father is a big cloth merchant, and is at present on the way to Canada. He is supplying a lot of the wool to make our uniforms of.  His name was Hirsch.  I was talking to his mother.  She had been in Ottawa quite a bit, and when I told her that was my home town she asked me did I know Bates, Charlie Bates.  He is a big customer of her husband.  I told her my father kept a store and used to deal with Bates.  The lad that asked me to dinner is going into the army.  He wanted to join as a private, but he has one eye thats not very strong, and he wouldn’t pass the eye test, but he is getting a commission.  His mother made me promise to write when we were going to the front and if I am wounded she wants to take care of me.  So you see, if I am hit hard I shall be well looked after, as all soldiers who are wounded anyways bad are sent back to England, and if any one will take care of them so much the better.  I had a pretty good time.

On the way up on the train I met some Belgian refugees.  There is a pretty heavy debt to be paid to Germany on their part.  They didn’t have a cent.  I gave the men all the tobacco I had. You should have seen them go for it.  My chum gave them all his cigarettes.  You can hear stories about them but you can’t really understand, even by talking with them, what they have had to go through.

One young woman had just been married about three weeks before war broke out and had spent most of their money in setting up house.  Then the Germans came and everything was swept away.  Her husband was with her.  They were fairly well dressed, were neat and clean, and I would judge were a pretty good class of people.  The country up here is nicer than it is in the south.  It is more like Ontario. 
Will write soon when in scarborough.

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