22 January, ’16.
Wet and cold. Went for route march, feel great. Told were sure to leave any minute now. Hope so — don’t like the suspense. Had lectures again from ten-thirty. The more I see there is to know, the more scared I get. All the fellows but a few learned something or other while in training in Canada, and more here. All I know is the Army Office routine, or that part of it directly connected with the Records, which I am afraid will not amount to much in the field. However, guess I can learn.
I want to put you wise again to that so-called “casualty” who will call on you — the one that’s going blind. Be sure you don’t do anything for him twice. I heard last night he was in the habit of saying he got his trouble at Festubert from gas, and then “touched” you for half a dollar.
Still here, glorious day, sun shining, warm as spring. Just been for a stroll along the prom. Sea splashing right on to the board walk. Ten A.M. paraded with overseas party for church — went to Congregational (no option). In the whole church there were just three women, no civilians, two officers, and tucked away at one side was our party. I can’t understand the reason. If we hadn’t blown in accidentally, the congregation would have consisted of five persons.
I don’t like the service at all. It’s the first time I’ve been to a church of that kind, I think.
I have found quite a different outlook on everything since I got away from the city side of things. I have a “job of work” to do. It will last so long and no longer, and the only thing to do is to make the best of it till I can come home.
It is my intention to slip this into an envelope at the last minute. That minute may be tonight.
We parade at seven P.M., so excuse any sudden ending. Had identification tag stamped. Hope I can hang on to it for you as a souvenir. Fellows are wearing them as bracelets now, instead of around neck.
Told we could not take cameras or keep diaries. Shall chance diary, but be careful what I enter. Weather getting worse. Don’t think we shall go this week, personally.
Beds all torn up. Place now mess room for troops, long oilcloth-covered tables run up and down the floor from the stage to the back; ticket offices, cloak room, etc. form kitchens. Strikes one as very novel, on first entrance, to see men peeling spuds in the ladies’ cloak room, makes very good place for lectures. Was told what was expected of us and so forth (apparently there’s quite a lot). No one knows where we are going or just when, but we must not leave billets. So it’s any minute. Completed all kit packing (awful job!) but have everything in fine shape now.
Feeling tremendously well.
Quite confident you will approve of my action. . . .