No. 475465, P.P.C.L.I.
Hut 30, No 1. Company.
Canadian Reserve Training Depot
Shoreham, Sussex, Oct. 28, '16.
Dear Cora: -
From the above address you will notice I have made another move. This make the 8th hut I have been in since coming to Shoreham. We are moving all the time. I thought I would have gone to Shorncliffe when I left the 2nd Command Depot, but a new system has been evolved whereby all casualties are being kept at Shoreham for training, and the new battalions from Canada are going to Shorncliffe.
That means that I am now in a regular training camp again, not physical training only, but as it is a new camp, we have not been issued with rifles or equipment yet. They will come soon enough though.
I was glad to receive your letter and Mother's together and the enclosure for which I thank you. As I mentioned before I am trying to get a little reserve account started in London so that in a case of emergency I will have something to fall back on. For that reason, if you are not in need of the 3 £ a month just now I can do with them until I get a little ahead and then I shall let you know. As it is now, it takes a least 5 weeks, and more often longer, for me to get a reply to any letter I write and that is a long time to wait if I should urgently need some money.
However, not since I was first wounded have I been absolutely flat, and it is not for any present use that I need the money, but just for future reference in case anything unexpected happens.
So much for our business affairs! Let me see if I can find anything worth mentioning. There is so little variety in any of these camps that the only hit of excitement to be found is in trying to keep out of the clink. I have been up before the O.C. three times since coming here, twice for overstaying my leave and once for missing a parade, but I managed to spin him a yarn good enough to get away with it. The other fellow who was with me both times we stayed over our leave got 2 days C.B. the first time, and 2 days in the clink the second time, so I was pretty lucky, but as I had no previous crimes against me it helped some.
I was very pleased to hear that your soldier friend had been promoted. He is certainly doing well. If he comes over before Christmas I may see him; that is, if he would talk to a common private. I think it will be pretty close to Christmas, at least before I shall be going away. It is possible that I may be sent to Le Havre before then but I don't think I will get to the trenches before it is nearly spring.
I believe from what I can gather that casualties are not to go to the front until the worst of the winter is over. They are going to draw re-inforcements from the new battalions.
I also received Albert's & Belle's letters and the plans of the new house, and a couple of snapshots taken on their wedding day. The house looks quite convenient from the arrangement of rooms, and when it is finally finished should be very comfortable.
I missed your benign countenance from among those in the snapshots. That long promised letter to the newlyweds will eventually be written. I have such a job trying to find enough to write in one letter home that I don't know how I shall fill another.
This is Saturday afternoon. I usually go out for a walk to Brighton or Worthing at this time, but my walking partner, a graduate of McDonald Agricultural College - I think I mentioned him before - is away to Leicester this weekend so I am using my time as you see.
I am going to write something for the "M.A.C. Gazette" this afternoon. I have been promising to do that ever since I enlisted and have not done it yet.
I had not heard until Belle mentioned it that Donald Laidlaw had been killed, and I am anxious to know whether that report about Hilliard Chisholm having died, is true. I was surprised to hear that Major Mantle was killed, for he must have only been at the front only a very short time as I had a letter from Lieut. Thompson, the ex-Weed & Seed Commissioner of Sask, who went with Major Mantle, just a short time ago saying they were leaving for France.
So you had everybody home for Thanksgiving Sunday. I had an invitation to spend the day the same place as I spent it last year, at Coney's near Gainsboro. Perhaps you have heard of them through Clara who corresponds with Miss Young.
There are now four or five thousand Canadians here. When I came here first there were only about 50, so I am quite a pioneer. I have met dozens of my own battalion and I think about a quarter of the 4th University Company is here. There are more here than in France anyways.
Brown is still at Epsom, and his back is getting worse instead of better so that he will probably have to go back to hospital. I did not know until only a few days ago that he was honored by the King for distinguished conduct being made a King's Corporal. That is a promotion on the field and one which can never be taken away for any reason. Although I saw him in hospital at Leicester and have corresponded with him every couple of weeks since, he never mentioned it. He went over the parapet 9 times in daylight and brought back wounded men of the 42nd & 49th battalions. If he had been an officer or some one well known he would probably have got the V.C.
Well if I keep on writing much more I shall have an envelope full anyway, whether there is anything to write about or not.
Mother mentioned that she was sending me some socks. If she had not sent them yet, if she would keep them until after Christmas I could manage alright as I have a pretty good supply at present. I have found a good place to have my washing done at a private house and the woman of the house darns my socks and does any mending necessary.
Must close now.
With love to all,
Your affectionate brother,