Letter #67 From 644539. Pte. W. J. Wood. Virginia Water Camp. C.F.C. Surrey, England
To Mrs. W. J. Wood. Box 639. Midland, Ont. Canada
Nov 8th. 1917
My Dear Little Wife:- Your 57 & 58 letters to hand lately and the parcel last night. I assure you the Wrigley’s chocolate bars, sox are right to the point. The cake and cocoa I have not tasted yet but expect to find them just what they look – like something good; like the dear little girl that sent them: contrary to the fact that she thinks she is overlooked or neglected because she is not attractive or interesting. There is a large element in society which it is a compliment to be overlooked and neglected by. It does not bother its head where there is no prospect of returns.
That element, both male and female, knows instinctively where it will meet with no approval and acts accordingly and being intensely selfish in motive cannot act gallantly.
If that was the only element to be met with here I should have been completely frozen out long ago. It is not so much dislike but rather a feeling that it would gain nothing in the estimation of the worthy by a more intimate acquaintance with the same. It, however, recognizes its own kind at sight, and carries on quite cordially.
I understand Mrs. Robe made the cake? In that case, I shall remember her with my compliments as well when I come to eating it!
So Dunkleman is home from the war. Well I’ve not been to it yet. So I suppose I shall be that much longer getting back home. However, I am informed this morning that there are to be some changes here. Now that the bunch are back here from Ascot camp for bed and board there is an additional batman on the job, who is to stay on with his officer and take on the O.C. as well. The O.C. told me this, this morning when I approached him for a “Late Pass” which he granted me. He asked me how I was at figures; would I be able to act as a scaler. I told him figures was my poorest recommendation. But that it was immaterial what he had for me to do, that I could handle satisfactorily. You see I am on call, should Col. MacLaren get a command this side of Canada. That is probably why they retain the other fellow. On the other hand I am rather too much for an ordinary Lt. of Capt. in every way except rank they have to look up at me, not down, a very awkward arrangement for both: but the new batman does not see how he is going to cut the wood as I am doing: I am mistaken if things will run as smoothly under the new scheme of things for the cook and the other batman. I feel quite relieved at the prospect of something else, for, as we have been remarking to each other by way of salutation lately, “The Old Home is not like It used to Be.”
I am afraid the Col’s promise of what he will do ere next August is rather fanciful, but he seems, in due time, to get what he wants even as I do and I am sure Home Sweet Home, will be my choice any day.
Well! Jessie mine, I left off writing at the finish of last page and went to see how the fires were in the O.C’s and the Anteroom. I found the O.C. in, He informed me then that he was putting a night man on to see that all was well in camp throughout the hours of sleep and darkness and that I was to be the man. This will cut out dancing for me, but it will leave me on my own time during daylight hours. So I said that looked quite satisfactory for me, but apparently I will still have the fires to look after in the cookery, quarters, etc. though I do not know how the wood supply is going to be kept up. I am to go about all over the camp in my night duties. _ not dress, This brings me to the request you make about my new suit. It will not make much difference in a picture, but I may get a photo taken, sometime, of it.
As for the oiled floor and the dressing-gown you are preparing for my home coming. I appreciate the spirit of love that prompts it but I am afraid darling I shall be treading on air when I arrive, heedless of floors and gowns, that bear up or clothe that which I shall be seeking - “The girl I Left Behind Me.”
You must thank drawing, etc. that used to, seemingly only, take me from you at home for reducing temptation here. It causes my name to travel before me, so that where I imagine myself a total stranger I find that they have heard of me and my art activities. Its good evening Mr. Wood from people who’s name I do not know or where they are from.
They apparently know I’m married and all the rest of it! So the straight and narrow way is the only one really open to me, with anything like a happy prospect.
The fellow who’s love letters I used to write is married now for months: his brother also. They are both here now having been of the Ascot camp which is here now.
There is a great list of permission to marry on the orders of this camp. The English girls are surely getting the poor & homeless Canadians working here. I do not know who is getting the best bargain.
The young fellow you will see playing the piano in an etching enclosed in parcels sent on to you is married now and goes no more to our dances – she can’t go now and he is hubby enough to stay away too. It is well for me that all this is over with and I’m free to take advantage of my travels in the way that travel is valuable.
“Annie” might have got me then where would I be. The last time I was in London I went to “Piccadilly Circus” to see the raider’s work and it being noon I had dinner in the restaurant of Annie’s former labors. Her mother told me she was married and living somewhere in Bedford wherever that is. But as the sausage and potatoes and tea tasted just as good as ever, my heart could not have been greatly affected though my eyes may have missed her, for I thought her good looking even as I do you, which is more than you ever said of me sweetheart.
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