Search The Archive

Search form

Collection Search
Date: June 24th 1916

Ward 9, North Evington War Hospital;
Leicester, Eng. June 24, '16.

Dear Mother: -

It seems as if I write about three letters to every one I get from home but of course my mail is probably following me around. It is just 3 weeks ago today that I was hit, but no mail has been sent to me from the front yet so it seems like a long time since I heard from any of you.

I was very sorry to hear through Cousin Sallie that you had been laid up for about three weeks with Eurysipelus and I am therefore anxious to know how you are now. I hope you have fully recovered. When I hear that you have had to stay in bed I know that you must have been feeling pretty badly for you never give in till you are "all in".

If you got my cable you would probably write soon afterwards for I gave you my full address. Evidently you or someone from home were not satisfied with the information I gave you for a wire came from The Canadian Record Office asking for information as to my condition and the same day The Canadian Red Cross Society wrote asking the same thing. My cable had to be very brief for financial reasons, as it took practically all my wealth to send two words. It costs 11 pence a word and address, initials and dates are charged at the same rate.

I am getting along fine. The wound is healing so fast that I am afraid I shall not be in England when the fruit is ripe. The hole is filling in very quickly. The rib is the only thing that keeps me from moving around. I still have to lie on my back and shall not be allowed to sit up for about 2 weeks yet, as the rib was badly smashed and splintered. Pieces of khaki cloth and bits of leather off my braces got in among the pieces of bone and they had a hard job getting them out, but now it is pretty clean. They have been putting fomentations on it to bring out the dirt and they have helped to clean it.

I had a bunch of letters in my pocket when I was hit and the shrapnel went right them. There were 32 pages altogether, or rather 32 thicknesses of paper as the letters were folded. I also had on a sweater coat and two shirts as it is cold in the trenches at night and it went through those and cut my braces in two as clean as though it had been done with a knife.

I was very much surprised yesterday when an officer of the 68th from Regina came in to see me. He is Lieut. H.N. Thompson and use to be Weed & Seed Commissioner for Sask. He happened to be in London when he heard I was here, through some one he saw there, and he came up to see me. It meant a 200 mile trip for him, so I appreciated his company very much. He is graduate of the M.A.C, I think I told you that he offered me the position of his assistant when I graduated last year.

He was telling me that one of the Joslyn boys, - I don't know which one, - had lost an eye and is in a hospital at Folkestone. Harold Joslyn who is also with the 68th was telling him.

I had a letter from my friend Brown this week saying he came through the big scrap without a scratch. He was one of the very few that did. He also said that Hawthorne, another of our M.A.C. pals was dead. When I left, he was still living but was just breathing. Stevens is now in England and his spine is injured. The doctors do not know just what is wrong with it.

I am enjoying the stay here very much and shall be sorry when I have to leave. The people of Leicester are very good to us. There is a concert nearly every night, put on by parties from Leicester and sometimes from London. The Canadians are particularly favored and we have lots of visitors who bring us good things to eat, reading matter and smokes. The charming daughter of the M.P. that represents Leicester in The House spends a couple of hours with me every Thursday afternoon, so I see where I decide to remain in England.

I have an invitation from The Methodist people of Leicester to an outing tomorrow. The programme calls for a tour in automobiles through some large private parks that I hear are very beautiful, and then tea is to be served on some big Estate, after which sports are to be indulged in. I am unable to accept it, of course, but in a couple of weeks I shall be in line for such things.

Last Saturday there was a big swimming regatta to which all the wounded soldiers were invited. They were taken down in cars, tea was served after the competition and those who went reported a very good time.

Had a letter from Geo. Forder in answer to a card I sent. He was very lucky in being in England when the big bombardment was on so escaped once more. Fred Woldron also missed it as he was on some special duty away from the trenches at the time. Fred is a Sergeant now, and is a different fellow altogether from what he used to be, so Geo. says.

I think I told you that I lost every thing I owned in the trenches and I am rather up against it now, as I have nothing, and have no money to buy anything, as they do not pay us anything while we are in hospital, so I wish you would send me that Gillette razor that I sent home from Montreal as soon as you can. There is nothing much else that I will need until I get back to Shorncliffe, and that will probably be nearly two months yet as I shall be at a convalescent camp after leaving hospital.

Am anxiously awaiting my mail from the front. It should be here before long now. I often hear from Cousin Sallie. When I go to Convalescent camp I shall be close to where she lives as the Canadian camp is at Epsom, Surrey.

Write often and give me all the news.

With love to all,
Your affectionate son

Original Scans

Original Scans