Merryfield Fruit Ranch
Nov 6th 1914
My dearest boy
I was so delighted to hear from you and so were we all. I don't know how many times your letter was read. Percy brought his post card up for us to see and I should have replied to you before only I was waiting in hopes of getting your permanent address; However I am writing anyway and if I don't hear from you in the morning I shall risk an address.
I am so glad you had a pleasant journey. Am very anxious about your winter quarters. I hope they give you more than two square meals a day, I should keep some biscuits and cheese or something of that kind on the side if I were you. We miss you very much. When I am dressing in the morning I listen for your footstep coming down the stairs and your room looks so desolate. For several days I did not let anyone have your room. I could not bear to think of giving it to any one else but now Joe and Harry are sleeping in it until you come home again. The time we miss you most, I think is when we are having some music. We miss your voice so much and we are so still and lonely after the little ones have gone to bed and the house is still.
Daddy has to turn out night and morning to do the milking. To-day he killed a pig and I tell you he hardly knew how to set about it without you to help him.
Baby went out onto the verandah this morning and hearing Annie down the cellar she called out "Artie, Artie," ever so many times and when I said "where's Artie dear? wouldn't he come?", she turned and gave me the most mournful girl little chatter you ever heard and looked so reproachful. Auntie and I drove down to Castlegar to call on Mrs. Mara and bring the children home, but Mrs. M. was out – so we went to call on Miss Curwen instead and got our feet nice and warm before starting home again. Percy and Mrs. Bertram came up this afternoon and after staying for afternoon tea, took Mary back with them for the evening. Dad was at Deschamps to-day. He tells me they have seventy men there now and are busy at the new mill. Harry Scales is cooking for them. You show up finely in the Kootenay picture and we soon picked out Daddy too. I am sorry dear that I haven't a bit of money to send you but maybe I shall have sometime.
I think May misses you a very great deal dear and I don't wonder you and she were always such chums. I hope dear boy that the worst of the fighting will be over before you get to the front. It certainly looks very serious just at present. God bless and keep you wherever you are. I pray for you every night – and make the children do the same, be sure and take good care of yourself. Don't sit in wet feet or do anything like that but be careful to keep well and strong for a soldier must needs be healthy.
Two of our Cousins in England have gone to the front. Reginald Hills and Bernard Hills. We got the news to-day. Now dear I must go and set the bread (another job where your muscle will be needed) so must close now. You are always in my mind dear. May God take care of you my dearest boy.
With very best love from,
[writer changes to Father]
Well dear Son I have first read your dear Mothers letter and I see she is giving you all the news. I was very much pleased that T. Chatterton gave you part of his Berth he said he would look after you he is a good hearted fellow and you may thank him for me. I am going to write a letter to the Col. of your Contingent it may help you on a bit. You might ask Mr. Foster if he recognized me by my Photograph for they had one of me hung up in the Queens Own Armory at Toronto.
Now MaMa has told you how we miss you. I shot the pig to-day because I did not have you to catch him. I hit it in the exact spot and would just like to have the chance to try the same on as many Germans as I could get a chance at.
Now my boy I know you will give a good account of ourself. I did not like to see you go but the way I look on it is from a Brittains standpoint it is for home and every Brittain should do his duty. Stay with your principles as long as you can, take great pains to shoot well. I don't doubt your pluck, do everything well to become a good soldier and may God be with you and bring you back safe again some time.
Its a long Long way to Tiperrary but you will get there.
Bye Bye from your ever loving Dad,
Capt. J.A. Killough
[postscript] I wish with Mother I had a little cash to send you.