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Date: August 4th 1918
Helen Davis
Fred Nickle

Somewhere at Sea,
August 4, 1918

Dear Helen,
Your letter dated the 16th of June located me a little over a week ago. It had had to do a great deal of chasing before it finally ran me down. I also believe I wrote you a letter on July 12th. It strikes me that I write you on quite memorable days: May 24th, July 1 st, July 12th and now August 4th. The anniversary of our declaration of war against Germany and the beginning of the fifth year of this terrible catastrophe.

Today I see the beginnings of the fifth year as I am many miles at sea, celebrating it or rather, remembering it, by doing a little duty trip. Out for all day. Left in the wee small hours of the morning and will not likely get back until very late.

To-day has been very calm and warm. The sea has only a slight roll, and were we not at war I would call this a pleasure trip. I can loll around the decks, bask in the sun, or read. I believe I could even write there but I came down to the Ward Room to the table as it is quite a bit easier to manipulate the art on a solid rest.

I received the nice pressed rose you sent me. It came through intact. You are very kind. That Canadian rose has been over a lot of country and water since you saw it last.

Allow me, before I proceed any further (and I hope you'll pardon me for not having done it sooner) to congratulate you on your success and your appointment. I wish you the very best of success. I know you'll have it for sure. I'm sending this letter to Smithville, which of course is quite proper, and the sanest thing to do, isn't it? You go home once in a while, don't you?

And so your brother Nickle is in the Air Force. And in Toronto. Well, that makes it quite nice for you people at home. You will be able to see a lot of him and it's nice for him too.

On July 13th I was down to see Walter at his training camp. I found him hale and heartier than ever. And the visit was indeed a treat. At present I believe he is on leave in Scotland and is no doubt enjoying himself immensely. He was to go either last week or the week before and I haven't heard from him since. Leave it to Walter to enjoy himself.

When in London I tried to meet with your Uncle Millen but I guess I must have left before he arrived. I think that he was to be in London about that time. Am I not right?

You talk about the blues. Now Helen, you may be punning. You know blue is the navy colour, not necessarily a naval failing. And personally, although I dress in blue, I cannot say that I've ever had the blues since I got into the service. There is "The blue above, and the blue below. And silence (no, not always in war) whereso'er I go". I am still in love with the service and am very glad I came into it. Probably I'll not be so, after I've spent a winter in the North Sea. But here's hoping for the best.

Since my leaving home, my eldest sister has taken advantage of the absence of her brother's watchfulness (?) and slipped away and got married. The awful girl. Are there many girls like that? I'll be getting uneasy. Maybe I'd better carry on with one of these English girls and take no chances on the 'Canadian Maids'. Had I? Well, you be careful, anyhow.

Will close for now. I hear from Walter Charteris quite regularly. He's in the land of his ancestors, Scotland, unless he's on leave. He was to go on leave last week.

Give my best regards to all your folks and accept the same to your 'own self .