Letter – I got your letter – September 24, 1914
I got your letter. You show the soldierly spirit. Take whatever you can. Hargraves added to it, if you have no use for it, throw it away later. Any loose trifles get taken up, ranging from soap to elephants, and dropped on the roadside if too heavy. Pa Jones, Bursar was down here Sunday. We fed on cake and apples for days after. Jones, E, H. has a most capacious tunic. In goes jam, bread, tea, cake, pop by the carload, and he gets no fatter in spite of it. One of the Highlanders has commandeered a chicken, a Red Rock with a fuzzy head, firstly a mascot, secondly a dam good supper for the men who find it when it escapes. Corporal Esterbrook had his pie put in the … and is getting vain. Mind you write to Jerry Clarke, Trinity. He is nice. Also …Jack Hately, his room mate. Seale gave me …his medical corps badges at last. I enclose it. It is the genuine wilderness serpent with a Maple Leaf wreath round it. You people never say a word about the photos. Have you got any besides the first batch?
We were to have marched to Quebec today. As it is wet we go in boxcars. Lucky men. The boxing gloves have swollen up my kit bag some, but it will be fun on the ship. They have all kinds of transports at Quebec but we are in no hurry. The Corporal says he is quite happy here so long as the weather is good. The language here shocked Mr. Jones most dreadfully. He ought to have heard it a fortnight ago. It was enough to mow off the roof. We have been here a month so far, so picnic.
Keep on writing. We have not gone yet and may be here for a week yet, but the horses are embarking at Quebec tomorrow. Keep on with your writing as they will be forwarded on, and we will get them in England. Address them as above.
We have been having our papers attested and getting sworn in. They write up all kinds of questions and make three copies. We got paid today, $22, and $10 on account the other day. I will stick it in the bank for the present. We have four baskets for our helios and lamps, and there is all kinds of room for our stuff?…extra puttees and anything swipable. They say the whole camp is going, 32,000 instead of 22,009. I am attached to No 2 Co. with a lad named Coulthard. We do semaphore and morse mostly, but probably won’t get in much helio work. They have allotted 8 Batt. Signallers to stay with headquarters staff. I’d rather be with a company, and be in with the bunch. They are 150 or so in these companies or more, and they seem quite a good bunch. Captain Morrison is our O. C. Capt. Munty was the O. C. of the company I was attached to before. They are the worst people to swipe things. Here they would take anything from under your feet if they wanted it. Someone swiped my billy can and knife, and so I collared someone’s else.
There are long lines of people waiting to get signed and fixed up all around the orderly room and the officers are getting tired. Capt. Mason is in charge of the Signallers, and is a good little head. Jerry Clarke is down here, (of Trinity), and we put him up in our tent and grub staked him for a day and a night. He promised he would go and see you, so write him up and ask him down. He is very nice.
Seale gave me a tunic until I could get mine, and I wanted his badges to send to you but he was not induceable. He wears a (+) (Red Cross) and a snaky side collar brass. I got your (?), and some tunic buttons. They will swipe everything in that line. I enclose the official service book.
I took 2 spools and some more pictures of the review on Sunday last, and sent them to Eaton’s to be developed and hope they are all right. It was a great review. There were 400 men in each double company of infantry, and their lines got shaky in places. You will see the guns, telephones and ambulance, cavalry and infantry, and a snap of Sam Hughes. Tell me how the photos come out if you get them, and what you want taken. We boiled up two dozen eggs for the corps tonight and made toast on the stove. What a luxury. Mind you write often, and keep on with it, as we would surely get them.