4th University Company
382 Sherbrooke St. West
Oct. 31, ‘15
Dear Edna, --
Though I wrote to you only a week ago, I have since received your letter addressed to Grenfell and I am hastening to explain myself. Things have evidently been mixed for from the tone of your letter I would judge that you have a phone and to think that I missed seeing you when I might have done so adds to my disappointment. I would like to have the Gainsborough Central by the neck for about 2 minutes for I tried two different times to get you from there and I tried again at Souris during the time we were waiting for our train.
I could not find any Chapman names in the Provincial telephone directory at Ninga, so I was beaten to a standstill. I would so much have enjoyed spending the week-end with you, but will you give me an invitation to come and see you after the war? Of course you may have to be introduced when that time comes, but I have no doubt about being able to recognize you.
That reminds me that, I am going to take a chance on being refused when I ask you if I might be favored with one of those photos you are going to have taken this winter before you leave Winnipeg. Just as a reminder, you know, when the days are long and dreary. If you would be so kind and would care to have one in exchange, I think I have one in kit at the present time that I do not want to take across the water with me. Let me know what you think of the proposition will you?
We are leaving for England on the 11th so rumor has it and will be at Shorncliffe about a month and will then go to Southern France to complete our training. The reason they are hurrying us away is that the Princess Pat's are being shot off so fast it keeps them busy filling them up with these University Companies.
So you are back to the old strand again. Gee! But I envy you! How I would love to spend another winter there. Those were the best days. Of course we used to grumble at things but after all the unpleasant details fade into insignificance when the other side is totaled up. Things will be somewhat improved under the new management anyway. The new President certainly is well spoken of at Guelph.
At the present time, I am sitting in the Central Y.M.C.A. which is only a few blocks from McGill where our barracks are. It is a very bright and cheerful place at all times, particularly after sleeping on the floor for a week and having no conveniences such as we have in ordinary life been used to. But in spite of the change, the strictness of discipline and the hard work, I am perfectly contented for it gives me such relief to feel that I am where I should be. The boys are a very fine bunch and they improve upon further acquaintance. There is no drinking or unpleasantness such as is so frequently seen in some regiments and as I see the men of other battalions in the city. I feel glad that I joined the Universities Company.
Steve is away today to his former home about 40 miles from here. Brown is at present in the library reading and the other M.A.C. representative Crawford is out with some of the other boys. Crawford had been here for over a month and is in a different platoon from the rest of us so we do not be with him very much. Steve Brown & I however are together constantly. Our numbers are 465, 466, 467 so our names come in succession on the roll book and we always drill and fight together in our parades and sham battles. I was on guard last week for 24 hours. For 2 hours at a time one us walks up and down in front of the barracks and then we have 4 hours rest. During that 4 hours however we have to stay in the guard room and be ready to turn out at a single from the sentry to present arms in case any armed parties go by. It is very tiresome at night for it is almost impossible to sleep.
Then after doing that I went to the theatre two nights in succession and did not get to bed until after12 so am a little sleepy today.
The new life is agreeing with all of us pretty well. Systematic training and lots of it is what most of us needed. I have already had to have my coat let out and my belt is too small for me now. I expect to be about the size of Ward James when I get back.
I hear that Prof. Ward has lost his job which, of course, is quite natural. Ye Gods! How the mighty have fallen. Prof. Bedford was telling me that Geo. James is also leaving the Dept. of Agric. I think the change of government was the best thing that ever struck Manitoba, and, I say it to you, a Conservative.
It is really not my turn to write is it? But when I got your letter yesterday and noticed it was written on the 21st, 10 days ago, I thought I ought to drop you these lines. I addressed my last letter to Ninga in case you did not happen to get to the M.A.C. But I am glad you were not disappointed in the respect. I hope you spend the most pleasant and profitable winter of your life thus far, there, this year and that it may be only the preparation for a larger and fuller one of pleasant service. You have the ability and personality to carry sunshine everywhere you go and I know you will make the most of it.
I have told you so often that I enjoy your letters so much that I need not repeat it; it is understood. Only write often! Though distance is gradually creeping in between us, it does not lessen the delight your letters give, but only enhances it.
As always, Sincerely,
P.S. So you think it is safe to address my letters to you at the M.A.C. My writing is pretty well known there and some one might be sure to recognize it. You see if they don't!