4th Universities Co.
Montreal Oct 23, ‘15
Dear Edna: --
You have probably wondered why I did not keep my promise to phone you from Gainsborough, but there is also a chance that you may have guessed, since I discovered that you had no ‘phone, or at least that is what Central told me. I tried a couple of times but always met with the same result.
Perhaps it was a relief to you but I was disappointed for a while I would not for a moment impose upon your time if you did not wish it, I would certainly have enjoyed a talk with you, if you were willing, and would have enjoyed much more seeing you.
This will be your last Saturday at home before leaving for Winnipeg just as it is my first Saturday in Montreal. Of course, I rather envy you going back to M.A.C. particularly now under the new regime, but I must say that this new life is very interesting.
Brown and I arrived here last Thursday night after spending nearly two weeks on the road. We stopped off nearly every place along the way where we had friends and relatives, and we had some time. I have not spent two consecutive Sundays in the same town or city for 5 weeks. Spent a couple of days in Regina with my sisters Cora and Ethel, then went to Gainsboro and was down near your part of the world two weeks ago today, and went over to North Dakota the next day. We were in Winnipeg for about 3 days and then left over the G.T.P. for Toronto where we spent last Sunday and Monday. I also went to Guelph and Berlin, at which latter German town I have a couple of Uncles and a few cousins. The trip over the G.T.P takes one through New Ontario, and it is certainly new, with nothing but tamarack and spruce for a thousand miles, with a few lakes and rivers interspersed. While a little of it is very picturesque it becomes monotonous after a day or so of it.
To an uninitiated Westerner the change between prairie conditions and those found in Quebec and Ontario is very marked. I enjoyed the experience of picking my first pears and grapes. The peaches are nearly all picked but the apples are just ready. Coming from Toronto we ran through an almost continuous succession of apple orchards, and as the dinner hour approached they looked very tempting.
I don't know whether you would interested in the details of our life here in training. If you are, I should be delighted to let you see some of the inside.
I can safely say that physically and intellectually the bunch here is the finest I have ever had the privilege of being with. They are all University graduates or students and the two medical examinations were very severe. Even for the slightest physical defect may be turned down.
The company of 256 men is practically complete now and after a couple or three weeks of training we expect to sail for England. The captain is a very fine fellow. In fact all the officers are very popular. They are all college graduates and well trained in military matters.
We are all inoculated at the same time.
It seems a long time since I heard from you, though. I could not expect it to be otherwise since you did not know my address. However there is no excuse for you now, and remember that while your letters have always been eagerly welcomed they will be doubly so now down here among the Frenchman and after I cross the pond.
Will send you some snapshots soon to see if you will recognize your friends in uniform. I am sending my civilian clothes home and have put on collar and tie for the last time for many months. One of the boys has just passed around a box of home-made candy. It goes to the right spot. It you ever have a little left when you make some I hope it finds it's way East. For the present adieu and let me hear from you at least as soon as you get to M.A.C.