June 13, 1915
I got your letter written en route some time ago but I haven’t answered yet. I hope you and Jean got home all right.
We are sailing from Canada on the 25th and will not be in camp here at all. I don’t know yet where we will go to in England.
We still need about thirty men but they are coming in fast. They are better men now than some we were getting. Thirty eight Toronto boys came in the other day, all good men. We have had several Italians wanting to recruit but they were sent to the other stations.
We are getting lots of bayonet fighting and route marching but no shooting.
The 42nd Highlanders sailed Thursday morning. I saw Dr. Bruce Taylor at church last Sunday morning. He preached in uniform.
I am on guard again today and so can’t get off with most of the fellows to look over the Carnarvon, one of the British cruisers that was in the fight off South America.
It is pretty hot here just now and it generally stays hot at night.
I am starting again now on Monday morning and I see I have slobbered ink over the front page.
I met a Mr. McKellar, a minister who has just come from Calgary, the other day. He knew McArthur and came to see him. McArthur has another minister friend her, a cousin called Campbell.
I had a letter from Marj. written in Galt. I suppose she and Nell will be in Edmonton now. I didn’t get a chance to see the 49th at all. Anna Belcher saw Percy for about two minutes, she said.
We got a wire yesterday saying four more men were coming from Edmonton.
This letter seems to be a sort of serial – “continued in our next” sort. I wrote the first part while I was on guard and now I am on again. Most of the men are sleeping and the sentries are walking up and down outside.
I have been down to the hospital three or four times with sick men and I watched the crowd going into the charity ward to be examined and treated. The young doctor there certainly has a sweet job. They smell bad enough when you don’t have to go close to them but it must be great to examine and treat those eyes and noses and ears. One old boy, a Russian, told me confidentially that he had a cockroach in his ear, but the doctor couldn’t find it and told him he was a liar.
We are going across on the Northland, I think, with some western battalion and a sanitary section from here. I don’t think there are any cavalry on board.
One of the men on guard here lives just across the street from Uncle Jim. His name is Mathews. Another Vancouver man, Richardson, is one of Harry Blowey’s best friends.
We have just got our new cap badges with – “University Overseas Company” on them. I am sending a couple of pictures and enlargements from my Ensignette. Glanville on the end of the line and the view from the mountains are about the only things you will recognize. I will send some more later but I am not going to send any to be stuck up in the Sunday School.
I will have to stop now but will write again soon.
Your loving son,
Alec R. McQueen