From: Hastings, Sussex
18 Aug. 1918
Dearest Mother -
As it was last week, so it is again this week, I have received no more mail at all. None of the Canadians here have received any lately. It must be held up somewhere in France. I read in the papers every day about our fine successes on the Somme and, altho we have nothing definite, we think the Canadians must be in the midst of it, possibly south of Albert. I have had no word from any of the fellows in the Battery since the push started, nor has Casey either, tho there are several fellows who would write if they had half a chance at all. I would very much like to know how some of them are getting along.
The past week has been very fine here. The weather has been lovely and the drills and parades not too strenuous. We have had several lectures during the week in signalling and in topography (map reading). I like the lectures fine - it seems so much like going to school again. Then too, I am learning things of real value.
Tuesday afternoon was devoted to sports of different kinds. I was able to borrow a racquet and had a few games of tennis. Every morning before breakfast, we have about three quarters of an hour of physical training which, as you will agree, is not a bad way of starting the day.
On Thursday afternoon, we had a bathing parade to one of the large salt water baths near the beach. This is about the finest and hottest part of the summer and Hastings, just now, is full of people spending their holidays here. Every afternoon, the long beach along here is fairly crowded with people bathing or sunning themselves. There are two large piers here with concert halls, refreshment rooms, roller rinks, etc. on them.
I am in room on the third floor of a house here and from the window one can see away out to sea. We are on a hill just back of the promenades and business section, but are quite convenient to them.
I don't think I have ever told you anything about my teeth have I? Well, they are still in real good shape and I have always tried to keep them clean. Out in France, the biscuits (hard tack) we used to get were rather hard on them, and I used to sometimes have a nasty toothache. When I came back from Paris last Jan. they were bothering me a bit and as the battery was then out on rest, I was able to see a dentist. He treated two of them for me, but I wasn't able to get them filled as we moved away right afterwards and I was at the guns almost continuously. I remember there were two or three nights while I was at the guns at Loos in Feb. or Mar. that I was kept awake with a toothache but fortunately they got alright again.
One of the first things they did when we got to Hastings here was to examine everyone's teeth. With mine, he said there should be four fillings, two on each side of the lower jaw, but that's as much as they did. About a couple of weeks ago, one of my teeth began aching again for about three days and this time my jaw swelled up quite a bit. It got a bit better after that but the swelling still remained. I went on sick parade with it a week ago Sat. and managed to see the dentist last Monday. These dentists are good and do the work for all the RAF forces here, so I am lucky in getting fixed up by them. As I feared, I had to have this tooth pulled, the first of my permanent teeth I have had to lose. It was loose and he put some anaesthetic on it so it didn't hurt so very much. He showed me where the root had swollen and an abcess was forming. I had him look at the rest of my teeth and he gave me an appointment for next Wed. So I hope I shall be able to get them fixed up properly - good work done for nothing. The tooth he pulled was third from back on right side of lower jaw. Lots of love to all.