4th Universities Co.
P.P.C.L.I. West Sandling
April 22, ‘16
I have a few minutes to spare before the train leaves as it is delayed so I may scribble a few lines. When I wrote you that very brief note last night, I thought it would be the last uncensored letter that I would write for some time, but here goes for a few minutes before orders come to move off.
You would have laughed if you could have seen me this last week cooking at the Y.M.C.A. The cook was away to London, so they sent me down to take his place. You should have seen the dishes I served up. I could not begin to tell you all the intricate delicacies that originated in the sanctum of the cook, and if I gave you the complete menus for each day and allowed a Home Economics graduate to pass judgement upon them I might find the nutritive ratio was not exactly right, but so far no casualties have been reported and I left everybody happy.
Among the staff, consisting of 4 ladies and 3 men for whom I was cooking was a London millionaire's daughter so my efforts were probably critically commented upon. I had a dishwasher assisting me, and later in the week Steve came in and we sent the other fellow out, so Steve and I had a great time concocting puddings and pies. The meat dishes were easy, but between us we turned out some very creditable cookies, biscuits, puddings and pies as well, after much experimenting and studying between ourselves.
In England, you know they always have supper about 9 o'clock as well as tea at 5. One night we had a concert party of eight, all ladies but three to get supper for as well. Steve and I used to laugh when we would think what people at home would say if they happened to see us.
Did I tell you that we saw Henry Dennison a week or two ago? He is now quarantined for measles. He looks quite swanky in his new attire as a Captain. It has just occurred to me that "swanky" may be a new word to you. It is a very common English expression.
We had a joint letter from Les Robson yesterday giving us lots of M.A.C. news. Evidently the 196th is filling up very rapidly. He says there is one full M.A.C. platoon already and another is in process of being formed.
I was surprised to hear of Archie McMillan resigning as Dep. Min. of Agriculture. I think the province will lose the services of one of its best men, when he goes.
It has just slipped my memory when I wrote to you last. Did I tell you that the 5th Univ. Co. had arrived? There are 3 M.A.C. boys in it, none of them that you would know though. Ramsay's younger brother Bill is with them. He is not much like his illustrious brother except the characteristic likeable
being out in the country where everything is free and easy, and the crops and colts are growing. It will be the happiest moment in my life up to that time when the miles of golden grain again looms into view and the one and only Canada is under my feet, at least as much as I can get under them. Of course that will not be more than a couple of acres probably even though army boots tend to develop big feet.
Another M.A.C. graduate was here yesterday, Henry Hudson of the ‘14 class. He is with the Engineers.
Steve said to me the other day, "I wonder how Miss Chapman got a snapshot of us three fellows!" I said "Perhaps I sent her one." Then he told me that Miss Moore or Miss Owens had written and said that she saw one in your room and wondered why Steve had sent one to you and not to her. It is funny how news travels across that old pond isn't it? It reminds me of a story Prof. Jackson told Mr. Jenkins by letter. Jenkins thought it was pretty good so he sent it back to Mclnytre. McIntyre in turn sent it to us, which made three trips across the Atlantic for that yarn.
I have three reasons for stopping this letter now. The first is that it is the 10th page and no sane private in the army would exceed that, the second is that it is just about time to put on our packs, and the third and best is that this is the last sheet of paper I have, so I shall bid you another goodbye from British soil.
Don't forget that little sisters always write to their brothers when the latter go to war, so here's to the one whose likeness I carry in my tunic pocket.