Letter 65 From 644539_Pte. W J. Wood
Virginia Water Camp. C.F.C
To Mrs. W. J. Wood, Box 639, Midland, Ont. Canada
Oct. 28th 1917
My Dear Little Wife. I believe this is another long span between letters I’ve written you; and I believe I’ve three of yours to answer 54, 55 & 56. All lovely letters full of all that makes life worth while. I’ve just finished writing to Tom in reply to the one I enclose of his to me. The day has been beautiful, bright and cool, with a heavy white frost last night. I was busy all forenoon with my duties as batman. I went out after dinner for a couple of hours just to make a weather note and of the season’s color. Supper is over, darkness is here and with the Col. over at the Lawn on duty today I have his room with its good electric light and a warm fire to myself and my thought of you, my girlie. The cold and lack of light is the cause of an extra day getting by without a letter being written on time to you. There is so much to do with the daylight hours, which are growing shorter.
I was in London all day last Tuesday, having a thoroughly good time looking at painting, etching and sculpture. At the damage done on a favorite street by the Zepplin raid I was surprised and angry and took great comfort in the knowledge that the raiders were made to lose considerably ere they got through with their deal. I do not know what good this war is doing, but it seems to go on as if it had a mission of some importance probably it is intended as an opportunity for me to get over here for art study. If so I am willing to agree that I can get along quite nicely now, thank you; call it off and let me go home! I am so busy these days cutting wood etc. there is time for little else: but there is likely to be changes for me soon, war or no war, but I cannot hope it will be for the better unless it were to go home to you. I continue to hope the war will not continue until it has undone all the good it has wrought for me. I got a nice letter from Mr. Thorburn this morning with your 50th.
I am glad my darling finds interest and love in the old letters and the new of mine to her. It is probably worth while for me to be so placed that I cannot always let look and caress say the things I would always say, and so must put into words that are unmistakable, my regards and love for you. It seems wrong that I am not keeping yours to me, even though some of them are many times read ere I part with them. Of course they are always from places not new to me so that they do not deal with much variety of situation but I enjoy them none the less, and alway have a few of them on hand. I think the verses – “Prescience” are very fine. Here again Absence not Death has taught me to declare:- your body so dear; your features so fair! In words you can see in paper & ink.
In your 55 letter you mention doings sufficient to keep time from hanging on your hands, do not over do yourself girlie mine, but at the same time don’t lose interest in other people’s work and worth as neighbors. I am glad you had a good time at the dance. The barn dances here are not like the one you know. But as I am now known as a good dancer and a teacher of the same for miles around even to London, you shall be taught when I get home. Unless I find you too well posted already for me to have anything worth while for you to learn. I do not know the Canadian dances myself. You did well at Mrs. Morrow’s and I know she ought to be pleased!
You did well about the pictures at Midland Fair especially in choosing the pen and ink sketch of our Soldier’s Club. Egham where I made the sketch. It is in the rear of a chapel and is run by the church women who serve tea and eatables at a reasonable price: sing and play, etc. for the entertainment of the boys in Khaki. Four prizes is better than doing nothing, sweetheart! I will try to get you new stuff for another year and good stuff too, but where am I going to get a model to better my “light and Love in a Cabin?” an artist that could not make a picture in that case is hopeless! I have not heard from Palmer or Greig as yet except your’s from Palmer. How did my English etchings appeal to midland folks?
I am glad to know that you are the same industrious kiddie about getting stuff put away for the winter’s supply of sauce and fruit, these are the things that go by the board when a woman gets interested in gentleman callers etc. and transfers her affections. You might tell me every day until doomsday, that you love me and mine I will believe it only so long as you are the dear little housewife that you were.
It is just a year ago that the 157th. Bn. landed on English soil, yet my little girl’s letters seem as true and loving as ever.
The leaves are falling, the chestnuts, tumbling down: girls and boys gathering them these days. The bell shaped deep red berries hang ripe and poisionous upon upon the yew tree, a few belated bramble berries are still to be found in shady places. Alder berries are over ripe and ungathered in the parks and hedges, the earth looks cold and sodden. The grass is very green, the Holly red with its fruitage and remindful of Xmas, and altogether those things point to the fact that war and winter shall join forces again to test the spirit of man-kind, for the war extends to the horizon ahead of us yet but for Love’s sake we will stick it out while we may and pray that it be to the end.
I will close for this time and will try to average up the intervals that are overlong between letters by shorter ones.
Your loving Hubby
W. J. Wood
Love also to the kiddies