Letter 91 Virginia Water Camp C.F.C.
14+15 – 4 – 1918
My Dear Little Wife:- Your 14th letter to hand last week. Sorry my dear one is not quite well but March is a tough month anywhere, especially this year in Canada, I understand.
Should very much like to look in at the papering you will have completed ere this; and your new brown dress, though you might be disappointed in my interest in it, since I assure you neither the paper on the wall nor the dress would console me for your absence, were I to find them there in your stead. I am sure the children’s rubbers will be handy for them during the sloppy weather.
Tom Gravestone’s death must have been quite pathetic, poor lad. But he seems to have met his fate bravely and becomingly. Ah, Well! the war and its wickedness, its winning or its losses concern him no more: while we watch its dreadful progress day by day. It is quite possible, even likely next August will find me on or under French soil too. But unlike poor Tom; I have lived to life’s fullest flower: the past year has fulfilled my ambitions. In my pack is a little painting , recently done, which is complete in its expression of my thoughts and feelings: stirs to admiration, child and critic alike. On the desk before me, still in its frame of wax, is an etched plate, finished today, completely satisfying to myself as an etching, admired by everybody, and pronounced by the transport officer; who is the “hubby: of the subject: to be an excellent portrait of his lovely wife: an English girl, who he says I shall soon have the pleasure of meeting. He came into the orderly room one night when I was doing Mildred’s portrait. He spoke of the photo he had in his room and wanted to take me in to see it as he would like me to try my hand on reproducing it. I told him I had seen it and had he not been so lately arrived and a stranger I should have asked for the privilege. This is just one instance of many where what I wish for I get. Therefore I still cling to the belief that my greatest wish may be honored - and I come back to you, sweetheart. This I believe is your birthday, and nothing seems more fitting and to the point to send you than love and the wish that its return my find us along time reunited. Oh that it might be as soon as next August: the war ended and, “buisness as usual.” I am glad, however that our baby is pretty well over with teething and Beatrice, no doubt is staying with the game even to repatition, squalling or teething or both. The more the merrier!
We have had a “short-arm” inspection lately and yesterday were all inoculated again with anti-typhoid stuff. I do not know whether more doses of it is to follow or not. I have not been much affected by this one, though it is generally claimed by the afflicted that it is the worst dose they’ve had.
The two parcels came to hand last Friday also a pr of sox from the Young People’s Guild. The apples and sugar did not give me the pleasure your love and energy intended. The apples were all bruised and rotting, the tin box broken and the sugar spilling out through a hole in the cotton casing caused by the lid of the box, a corner of it punching a hole through. I ate all that was eatable of the apples at once. While I gathered up the sugar into a couple of tin cans I had handy. The sox and sweets and fruit in the other parcel were intact and yum! yum! it’s a prize parcel altogether! It would have been better had the kiddies got the apples and the sugar but I guess Verne’s had his eye on the other stuff. So have I and will ask a blessing for every finger that gathered those strawberries which I may probably taste tonight since the night-cook is all in with this inoculation. I may have to forage for myself. This is a wild, windy, chilly night, more becoming to March than April but leaves and blossoms are bursting forth everywhere. Flower gardens are abloom; and but for this hateful war, all would be bright and fair, and I might be home and happier but no easier job could be mine anywhere than that which is mine at present. At present! But we know at noonday, that the sun will set. by the same token war too must cease sometime. Surely it is at its noonday now. But I may see more of it in its afternoon. It might be wise of me to send another parcel of my stuff into your keeping and possession for exhibiting etc. Our new O.C. J.G. MacLaren (Major) is over at the base – Smith’s Lawn today. No doubt discussing the situation with authorities over there, where all A. J. men (and B.J, I believe) are being looked over with a view to overseas service, to which hundreds have already been drafted from there. But I am here yet, girlie: Here or elsewhere I will be your loving hubby and in the same power’s keeping still that keeps me now. So great has this care and keeping been. I am sure some special fate awaits me: but special in what way? This keeper only knows. Here the best bunk in the best hut is mine with a large cupboard ready to hand for my truck. The best job in the company and the respect and esteem of the wise and foolish alike both officers and men. Thankfulness should be my abiding mood. As a fellow bunking next to me used to abide with the woman “who looks like you” until another fellow found her, said to me “I don’t know what we’ll have to do with you Woods. You’re so happy all the time etc. He is always broke and lately had his assigned pay reduced to fifteen dollars so that he will have more to spend – foolishly. Yet he is one of the most restless and unsatisfied of men.
You see we draw all our pay in England so he ought to have plenty without sending home for any or reducing his assignment. If a man has no constant purpose and interest he cannot be happy in khaki and far from home. I know I would like to come home to you now with all my acquirements and experience am sure that we would happy be and content beyond all past contentment. Will close now and turn my attention to the good things you have sent me especially the berries, lest anything should happen to come between them and me.
Your loving Hubby: W J. Wood Pte.