Jan. 10th 1916
Many thanks for your good wishes which arrived for Xmas and I hope the answer to this letter which was promised will appear promptly.
Christmas here was quite [?] though of course not like one at home. We tried to make it as nice for the patients as possible and they seemed wonderfully cheerful. Their dinner was quite a nice turkey and plum pudding and they were all allowed a piece of the turkey regardless of how ill they were.
You may have heard from [?] that No.3 hasn't had patients for some time on account of getting ready to move and twelve of us are at No.1 [?] We have been pretty busy here until this past week where things have been rather slack. I'm on night duty just now, have been for over three weeks and I can't say that I'm enjoying myself. The actual work is nicer than in the day time as you come just as you please, no one to try to boss you, but it's the sleeping in the daytime that I don't like. We have only a month at a time through so I'll soon have my turn over for a while again.
The patients as a rile are so grateful for all you do for them that it is a pleasure working with them and an experience I wouldn't have missed for the world. I wonder when it will all be over, it really doesn't seem to be any nearer a close than it was a year ago.
Spence has joined the 85th has he not with some of the other Musq boys? I shall watch for news of them when they come over. I hear from Bill Hanna quite often but of course can't get a chance to see him. He hasn't had too bad a time so far, and I'm sure I hope he doesn't have any worse. The Wicks boys are quite near him, I've heard from them more than once too.
We are quite near Boulogue here and can go in quite often shopping. Some of the shops are quite good in fact we can get pretty nearly anything we need. One thing you can get in even the small villages is a good meal. The village nearest here, about a mile away, though it is filthy dirty place has two good hotels where the meals are simply splendid and needless to say we often go there. We walk along the streets followed by a swarm of dirty kids all demanding pennies and as it would take small fortune to supply them all, they don't get any.
Though this the middle of January it is quite mild weather like spring at home and we are still living in canvas huts with no heat in them. We have oil stored in our own but don't very often light them. One luxury we have is a bath house with nice tubs and lots of hot water so there's no expense for not taking a bath.
Our dining room and sitting room are in a wooden hut which has just lately been put up and are very comfortable with electric lights and a coal stove in each.
They are putting up wooden huts for our sleeping quarters, which were intended for the winter, but will be ready for summer instead. For the patients we have five wards and two operating rooms in huts and the rest of the wards are lines of tents. They have stoves and are quite comfortable as the huts.
Down at N. 3 after our patients left me had quite a good time. We used to have a little infirmary dance very often with the men. Nearly all our N.C.D.s and Privates were medical students and very nice boys, very different from ordinary Hospital staff over here. We had a piano and [?] of the sisters and men play quite well and there are a lot of splendid dances, so we had what you might call a good time. Do you remember Charlie Hurry who was with some of the engineering crowds on the railway at home. He is with No.3 and came and introduced himself to me at one of our Halloween parties. I had heard Norm and Grace talk about him but had never met him and it seemed quite like meeting someone from home to meet him.
I've been writing this on duty and therefore with many interruptions, so if it is sounds [?] you'll know why.
With kind remembrances to the family and love for Jess and yourself.
I am ever lovingly