[stamped “RAVENSCROFT MILITARY HOSPITAL SEAFORD.”]
My Dear Father and Mother,
I have letters from you both to answer, Mother’s of the 9th and Dads of the 12th of Feb so will answer them both at once.
Just half an hour of this day has passed, being 12.30 and Church would be about half over, there. I rather enjoy night duty in a way, you seem to have more freedom. Any morning or afternoon, you can go out (taking a chance of course, without a pass), and when you wish, sleeping from 7.30 A.M. till 5.30 P.M. Thursday and Friday, I got up about 1 P.M., and went down town then Saturday and Sunday, slept all day. Unless there is a great change in the weather, I will sleep all day to-day too, as the weather is most miserable. Very windy and a wet snow to-night.
I found out how the rumor got around about us moving to France soon. Our headquarters had a letter from A.D.M.S headq. instructing them to keep our supplies (Red Cross from London, drugs etc) intact, and for the unit to hold itself in readiness to move to France on short notice. It also came out in orders, that letters to U.S.A., must not mention unit place of station nor movements of the unit, the post mark, being the only guide as to where we are. Of course it may be months before we get any word to move. In fact, I am afraid that the German retreat around Bapaume, will seriously hamper the spring offensive. I believe that it is more than the British pressure that is responsible for the retreat and that possibly it may prove one of the greatest pieces of strategy of the war. I hope I am wrong, but that is the way it looks to me just now. This will be a terrible piece of ground to move forward over, and if the spring is wet, movement will be terribly slow if possible.
I hope you have had sure news about Major Thomson by this, as I am quite sure there is nothing in it. From the letter I had from Mildred Clark, I take it, that Major Thomson and Wilson were in London during the early part of February, so he must be all right.
What the Thomson’s should have done was cabled the Major via the Army P.O. London. This is the best address after all, and I believe saves many mistakes. If my letters are addressed 10th Canadian Stationary Hospital, (written in full) the Canadian Contingent, B.E.F. can be left off. There is another 10th but British, so as long as the Canadian is plain enough, it is O.K. I had an Observer to-day as well as the Sat. nights, which I have enjoyed very much.
I am glad my parcel arrived O.K. Did I send the book of instructions to Nert? I think I did, as I can’t find them now. She can go ahead and use the camera, being careful not to get the lens scratched. I will write her Wed. and tell her more about it.
Say those sox from Mrs. Weston are the best yet. The wool does not show stains like the white and is just as soft. The legs are also a dandy length. If you can get this wool, I think it would be advisable to get enough for a dozen pairs of sox, as I will need more later. I will have plenty now tho, to last me for at least three months, or till June 1st and possibly longer that is counting two pairs that are on the way from home now. I think you said one pair was from Grandma Davis, so please tell me for sure, so I can write her. When you enclose anything from anyone else, please pin a note on it, because I would hate to not thank anyone, it is so good of them to remember me.
I don’t think I told you I had moved my sleeping quarters. When I came on nights, I went over to sleep with the night staff (four of us). We have a room on the top (third) story of Southlands our mumps isolation hosp. It is about one hundred yards along the road and across the road from our Raven’s Croft. I have two little trestles with three boards on them and a real mattress with plenty of blankets. I sure do enjoy snuggling into the blankets, desperately tired about 7.15, then about noon someone generally brings our mail over. I get something or other nearly every day, which is better than having them all in a bunch.
I said ours was the finest (not only) Canadian hospital here. As I understand Orpington, it is separate huts just erected for this purpose. Ours are fine large buildings, with beautiful drives and gardens etc. Of course there are larger too.
I don’t know what parcel you mean from Emerson, as all I have had was a susp. bandage some time since. I wrote him Jan 29 and Feb 22. I usually write the day or a couple of days after I receive his letters.
I do hope Dad, that Miss Stover is not going to be sick. It sure will be hard for you to get along, if she is laid up as I don’t think Miss A would be much good if left to herself.
It is certainly fierce, the way the gas has been acting, and I don’t see what makes coal so scarce over there. Here there is plenty of coal, but no one to deliver it, and I think that most places the people get it in small quantities as they want it and carry it away themselves.
They sure had some celebration in France when the first “blocade runner” from the States, landed there. From the number of men in the streets, you would not think there was any war on over there. If you still get that yellow covered “Daily Mirror,” for Jordan Mitchell, you will see pictures of the latest events in it. It is one of the leading papers over here.
From the beach down town, we can see on clear days, the harbor of a nearby town from which many boatloads of supplies go to France, and that accounts for sub. activity around here. We are promised another big air raid soon and I would not be surprised to see some of them pay us a visit for a few minutes. Well I have been writing nearly an hour and had better have a look around.
Your affectionate son,