WWI LETTERS HOME

Lance Sergeant Clarence Gordon McDougald was a bank clerk in Vancouver B.C. when he enlisted on October 1, 1915. During his time in France, he fought in the Battle of Vimy Ridge where he suffered a gunshot wound to the back of the neck. When he returned from hospital, he fought at Passchendaele, and his valiant service earned him the Military Medal. He was demobilized from Vancouver February 4, 1919 and returned to Peachland before taking a contract as a mail carrier in Summerland.

The letters included below are primarily addressed from McDougald to his mother and otherwise are addressed from him to his siblings or pertaining to his service and injuries. All are dated between 1916 and 1917.

Images are provided to give a general sense of the letter, but due to them being difficult to read online, transcriptions done by Paul Randall have been provided. Any errors in the transcripts are a result of being direct transcripts from how the original letters were written. Full images, the letters, and more information can all be found at the museum. 

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February 12, 1916 (Hastings park, vancouver, b.c.)

Dear Mother and all,

       Well as usual there is not much to write about.  I note that I have not received a letter from you for about two to three weeks but I know that you’r [sic] all well or I would have heard from you.

      It rained nearly all last week so we did not do much out door work but fooled around in side just putting in time.

     The 62nd were to leave to-day but a wire came through about 8 o'clock last night post-poning it and you may say there were some wild men in town.  We were asked to come in Saturday night so as to be on hand to give them a send off.  So I guess there will be some sore 72nd men coming back and finding the boys were not going.

      Do you know Allan Davidson of Westbank?  Well I guess he will be glad the 62nd did not get away.  For he is in the Hospital and has just under gone an operation so if they stay for a few weeks he will be able to get away with them.

     Oh! I say John I hear that you have cut Rev Marshall out. Congratulations.  I hope it is true.  I got that information from an ex Peachlander.

     As you see by the heading of the paper I am writing this letter down in the Khaki Club.  It is a very nice little place fixed up down stairs in the Standard Bank Building with a reading room with easy chairs and a writing room.  Say did you get the ten dollar money order OK?  Hoping you are all well.  I am

              Your Loving Son

                           Gordon

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March 26, 1916 (Hastings park, vancouver, b.c.)

Dear Mother & all,

      I received John's welcome letter.  Say John will you please tell Miss Elsey that I am Very Very sorry that I missed seeing her before she left.  I was on fatigue every day.  But Friday I was on the Canteen so when 4 P.M. arrived I beat it and got dressed and up town.  About eight o'clock I was on my way down to see her when I noticed a man walking ahead of me who looked like her uncle so I hurried up and caught him up and asked him if she had gone.  And he said that he was on his way home from seeing her off. I thought she would not be leaving until Saturday or Sunday.  You can tell her that I am Very sorry for I guess there will be no chance of seeing all you folks again this Summer for I think we will get away with this 18 more Batt, that will be leaving shortly, instead of going to Vernon.

   On the 17th we marched over to New Westminster to attend the Irish field sport arriving about 11.30 AM.  Had dinner at Moody Square then marched down to Queen's Park and as we were going in the gate a moving picture photo got us.  We formed up in mass and were dismissed and they say that the way the hands came up for the salute was Just like one man.  Well I went down town and took in a picture show and got back in time to fall in at 4.46 P.M.  We marched over to Moody Square had supper fell in at 6 P.M. and set out for home arriving at 8.45.  And I was not a bit tired out after our lively twenty mile hike.  The day was the best we have had for some time.

      Well we had another supper and pulled off our putties and put on our spats and left for Victoria that night (Roger and yourself)).  Visited Mawkimmeys and found them all ok.  We stayed at the Y.M.C.A. when over there.  But we are feeling the financial depression very keenly after our holiday for ten dollars does not take a fellow far.

      I had a 1/2 Doz photos taken by our Reg photo.  And when I was taking them up town to send away I had lost them with the rain pouring in good style.  But lucky for me one of our boys found them and as they are in good shape I will send you one under separate cover.

   I will try and get those books for you John in a few days.  As for the Aerial Corp I will have to locate them first And I will try to get what you want. Hoping you are all well, I am

                           your Loving Son

                                    Gordon

P.S.

They say Vancouver is going dry but you will have to show me. Ask G.E.

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April 5, 1916 (Vancouver, B.C.)

Dear Mother & all,

     Well there is not much to write about.

     Last Saturday the 72nd had a field day and about ten thousand people were present that is including the different Batts.  As usual the 72nd were to the front wining fourteen firsts and seven seconds.

    I think I told you in my last letter of our march to New West, and the way we cleaned up the Irish.

   Say John I don't know the complete list of books which you require to study to get a commission but will send enough to keep you busy for a year.  You have to study them so as you will be able to give detail and tell the recruit of old soldier whether he is to lift his head or toe.  I am trying to find the Aerial Corp's head quarters.

       Well I got some very good news for you. and we received the order to prepare for overseas this morning.  Gee but we did cheer.  We have a half holiday on the strength of it.

   I will let you know when we are going to leave. 

    Enclosed please find Money Order, for ten dollars, March.  I signed fifteen dollars to you the other day but I do not think it goes into effect until we leave for overseas.  Be sure and let me know if you receive this money regular.  Hoping you are all well, I am

                          Your Loving Son

                                     Gordon

No home guard Vernon Camp for the 72nd Batt. Pride of the West.

PS

    Say did you receive the pictures which I sent under separate cover, one of D Coy and two of yours truly?

                                     CGM

List of books John, which I am sending under separate. I could not get the full List for they did not have them on hand.

1. Kings Regulations

2. Officers Guide

3. Infantry training

4. field service

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May 7, 1916 (BRAMSHOTT CAMP, ENGLAND)

Dear Mother and All

     I will try and give you a short account of our leaving and journey.

     I got away from the Park Friday the 14th April and went up to Alices[sic] but we were called up next day at noon. But I could not get in until mid-night.  I rushed around and said good-bye to my friends.

    Next morning we pulled out about 10.0'clock leaving a crowd of about ten thousand standing by the siding.  Mac, Hazel and her old man were down to see me off.  Also T.J. Smith and Ella.

   We got good receptions at nearly every town except Calgary.  That was where we held our first route march and they were afraid to give us a cheer.  We got out at three or four places for physical jerks.  Had an inspection at Ottawa and another route march through Campbellton [sic] N.B. And arrived at Halifax about 10.o'clock Sunday morning just seven days after leaving Vanc.

   We got off the train at 2.pm And stood around until about 5 when we started to embark.  They stored about five hundred of us away down on a part of E Dock 20 x 30 ft. That was our home for another ten days.  We were suppose [sic] to eat and sleep down there but a good number of us slept on deck.  After lying in Halifax harbor from Sunday to Wednesday at 4 P.M. We set sail on the Emp of Britain.  It was fairly cold and snowing a little as we departed and the fun began.  I had to leave the supper table in a hurry but was all right after the first hour at sea.  We had a very pleasant trip except that it was a little over crowded about forty-four hundred aboard.  The Sea was fairly calm.  The only the the kick was the grub.  And it was past description. OverAfter about six days sail we were picked up by our escort of four sub destroyers and on the seventh day sailed into Liverpool. ok.

    Slept on Board [sic] that night and disembarked about 1.30 PM taking the train to the Bramshott Camp.  Arriving here at 12.30 AM. Then we marched up to the Camp a distance of about 2 1/2 miles with our bundles on our shoulders.  After partaking of a hot meal prepared by our friends the 54th we rolled in 2.AM.  Up again at five and got busy putting things in ship shape.

      I meet [sic] Billy Dryden yesterday and he told me Henderson is at the front.  Howard is away on sick leave. I think he will be back some time next week. So Long for now.  I Hope this letter will find you all in good health as it leaves me the same.

                     Your Loving Son

                                  Gordon

#129876

   Pte CgMcDougald

         D Coy 72nd Batt

you can try          c.c.

Bramshott               B.E.F.

address if you like           A. PO London, Eng

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June 4, 1916 (LONDON, S.W.)

Dear Mother & all,

        I received John's letter ok and was Very Very glad to get same.  Well we got out of quarantine last Monday and I was very glad to get out. GEE!  Talk about your C.B. Why C.B was not in it with the quarantine.

        You will see by the heading that I am in London just down on a week end.  We left Liphook about 1. o'clock and arrived in London about 3. o'clock.  And you can take it from me but she is some Burg.  Especially The Strand and Piccidly is a regular moving mob the whole day long but there is a few more thousands down there in the evenings.

          The week end does not give you much time to go and see the world famous places.  I was down to See the Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Whitehall and through the Park (Hydes).

          But I am going to get a directory and study it up when at Camp so as when we get our six days leave, after our musketry is over, I will know a little about London.

          Say the thing I need most is a pairs of socks and as for Eats I think it would cost to much.  But I than thank you all the same.  Hoping you are all well I am,  Your Loving Son

                                     Gordon

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june 18, 1916 (bramshott camp, england)

Dear Mother & all,

      Well I received John's letter of the 22nd May ok.  And am very glad to hear that old father Henderson is going to the coast.  He wont be so out spoken about recruiting when he gets out there.  It is up to a fellow to decide for himself if he will go or not.

     Well Mother the 72nd Batt are broken up for our first draft of about one hundred and fifty went out this morning.  And Another is going out, I think Monday or Tuesday.

      John Morrison was telling me that he is going in the third draft of the 54th.  So I think, that is, if there is a third draft from the 72nd, I will try and get away.  But I don't think I will be successful we are quarantined again.  This time for twenty-one days with measles.  I am sending under separate cover the last copy of the kilt before we left Vanc.  It contains the picture of every company.

      I have put my name in for the Divisional pay master's office but I have not heard any thing [sic] about it yet.  Four men are wanted.  But I think I am out of luck for old Darn will knock it on the head if he can.  If I get that Job I will be in London for the rest of my stay in Eng.

   I don't think it will be long before we are all in France. Say you want to write every week so as I will get a letter every week.  I will try and do the same.  Please Address the rest of my mail to the Army Post Office, London, England

                     Your Loving Son

                    Gordon

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july 1, 1916 (bramshott camp, england)

Dear Mother & all

      I hope you will forgive me for not writing before but I have been out of Camp for over a week.  We have been out at White Hill Rifle Range having Our Musketry.  I do not know how I made out yet.  Say talk about dirt.  We sure got lots of it a [sic] White Hill.

  When we got there it was raining, and, because we were quarantined we had to pull down a tent to each ten men and take it over to the side of the Hill and put it up again that was Our introduction to the W.H. Camp.

    Well Another little thing happened out there.  Sunday Morning, they work seven days a week over here some times, the fatigue list was called at  the range and my name was not on it so I thought I was free.

   I fooled around the camp from about 1.30 PM. To supper time. We shot in the morning, then went back to my tent.  The boys told me that Corp. Thompson wanted me for fatigue at the Serg. Mess.  Well I thought they were fooling but Monday Morning I was taken up to the Orderly room and got two days C.B. [confined to barracks] because Corp Thompson could not find me so as he may warn me for fatigue. That is my first offence. If you can call it an offence.

    We finished shooting about 6 PM Thursday night and set out for Camp, seven miles, at eight through a heavy rain storm Arriving at 10 PM.

   Next day we got out of quarantine and to-day we Just got back from the Kings review at Farnham Common. We were out on the parade ground this morning at 7 AM. And had an eight mile march then the whole division had to march past in line. We had two sandwiches for dinner then mushed home.

  The King looks just the same as he does on a fifty cent piece.

   It looks as if we were going to be shifted pretty soon when the King inspects us. There is to be a big sports day to- Morrow [sic] and I have to take part with the 72nd wire entanglement squad.

   We are going to try and beat the rest of the Camp in putting up wire entanglements with two and a half days practice.

   We are working now as we never worked before.  Hoping you are all well, I am

                    Your Loving Son

                                   Gordon

Say have you received the May assignment Money?  And did you received the trunk key?  Will you please look after My Insurance for me.  Write to the prudential and get a statement showing the date I am paid up to.  I will send my book if I can find it.  You can work on the statement until I find the book.  The payment is nearly due 20¢ a week.   Thanks So long     Gordon

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July 9, 1916 (bramshott camp, england)

Dear Mother & all

          Your welcome letter received ok and was very glad to get same.  Thanks very much for the Summerland review it is like getting a long letter from home to get that paper.  I have received about three copys. [sic]  Did you go down to Summerland the day before or did you go down and drive to Fish Lake the same day?  John?  Who is taking RJ Hoggs place during his sickness?  I guess some of the people, along with me, are glad to see father Henderson depart.  I wish he was going farther [nb black spot covers the ‘er’] away.  Please excuse this blotting for I have got a new fountain pen and it feeds to fast.  I guess I will get use [sic] to it soon.  I guess J.M. McLaughlin is right that Ben will come home and work the lot before he will go to the front.  Well he will get the cold shoulder when we get back from the front.  I can hardly blame a fellow for not enlisting.  But I would like to see Gummow in the Army. It would do him good.

      I assigned fifteen dollars to mother and she should have the May money by now.  Are you thinking of going to the mine when Candy comes home John?  I am glad to hear that the Robinson girls are working.  I am not a paper correspondent and I guess I will let the rest of the boys tell the flowery lies to the paper.  I am afraid I might tell the truth about Army life.  I see the letters that are published are thanking the Home Comforts Club for parcels, not written for information.

     Well I guess I will tell you that I have got my first and second dose of C.B. [confined to barracks] The first was out at the White Hill Rifle Range because they could not find me for fatigue.  The fatigues were called at the Range and I was not on one so I thought that I was free.  After dinner Sunday I put my mess tin away and bumed [sic] around camp and when I came back to my tent the boys told me that Cpl. Thompson wanted me for fatigue in the Sergts mess.  I thought they were fooling because it was about three o'clock.  Next morning I was ordered up to the Orderly room and got two days confined to camp for not going up to the Orderly Room to find out whither what Thompson wanted me for. The second dose took place last Friday and I am sitting here writing to you expecting to hear that old defaulter bugle to blow any minute.  I got it for being a little late in falling in for breakfast.  Four others got four days for the same offence.

   When we were out at White Hill Rifle Range we had to work seven days a week.  We got through shooting about six or seven on a Thursday night and marched home seven miles in the rain.  The same night drilled all the next day or rather got out of quarantine and went on a sixteen mile march to be inspected by King George.  There were two divisions present one of Artillery and one of infantry. The next day Sunday was a big field sports day but yours truly did not take part in the wire entanglement squad of the 72nd. We all kicked and would not take part so there was no squad entered from the 72nd Batt C. I. [Canadian Infantry]

   We expect to go into the front line trenches for a  to-morrow night for about forty eight hours.  Some of the boys who left with the first draft have been killed and others have been wounded.

     Say Arch did you fix up that Prudential Insurance of mine.  I will send you the book with this letter showing the payments along with a receipt for five dollars paid one day I did not have my book with me.  I guess I have lost the receipt so will have to trust the Prudential.

   Well I guess I will say so long. Hoping your [sic] are all well as this letter leaves me.  I am

                        Your Loving Son

                           Gordon

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July 23, 1916 (Bramshott camp, england)

Dear Alice & Jack,

       Your welcome letter received ok. and as usual I was glad to get same.

       It must be kind of lonely, during the day, for you seeing Candy has gone home.

         Howard Morrison and yours truly were up to Lord Tennyson's old home yesterday and it is certainly is a nice place and the view could not be beaten.  This is the second time I have been up there.

         The allies are doing good work on all fronts at present but I think we will get over before it is all over for I hear that the 15th August will see the whole fourth division over there. And I sincerely hope so.

          Howard was telling me that Arthur Henderson came safely through the heavy fighting of the 1st and 2nd June ok. And that his leg started to trouble him so he went to a doctor.  The Doc told him that he would not be able to go up to the front line again and that he would find him a good job at the Canadian base where Art is now.  So there is one fellow going back after this little scrap is over.

        Oh! I had the good fortune to manage a transfer into the Battalion machine gun section.  And must say it is the most interesting work I have struck since I Joined. [sic]  When you address letters please address as follows.

#129876

     Pte CG McDougald

               Batt. Machine Gun section

                        72nd Can. Inf. Batt

                             4th Division

                                     Army Post Office

                                                      London

                                                             England

        Well I guess I will close, So Long for now. Hoping you are all well I am,

                                         Your Loving Bro

                                                             Gordon

 

July 23, 1916 (Bramshott camp, england)

Dear Mother & all,

I received John's welcome letter of 28th June ok and it was Very Welcome.

Say has HH Thompson got his gas boat back from Wringer or has he got a new one?  I bet you were glad to see Candy.  Say Candy I got your letter ok and was very pleased to get same.  I told you that it was easy to travell [sic] alone.  And I guess you laugh when you think how afraid you were of travelling alone.  I will only have to write one letter instead of two now that you are at home.

I am surprised at Cousin Fife wanting to come back to Peachland to settle down and Gummow going to the states. I guess Ben does not want to be in Peachland when we come back.  If he enlists now he need not worry for he would never see any fighting.  The allies are raining Can over the channel.

Yes you told me about Norman Pope and Aitkens.  I saw in the Summerland Review where Bob Laidlaw was killed in action.  I just received another Review yesterday and it is like a long letter from home.  I pass them on to Howard and he passes them on to Douglas Male, from S.Ld.[Summerland].  The other night I saw Cpl Howis late of SLd pass by on a wheel so I yelled at him and wanted to know if he wanted to see the SLd Review.  But he receives one every week like myself.  It was through the Review that I knew Howis was here, by reading one of his letters to the home comforts club.

Howard was telling me that Arthur Henderson came though the heavy fighting of the 1st & 2nd June ok. But his leg was giving him some trouble so he went to the Doctor and the Doc told Art. that he could not go up to the front line again and that he would get him a job at the Canadian base that is where he is at present.  So he will be one that will be going home after this little scrap is over.

Well I had the good fortune, the other day to manage a transfer into the Batt. Machine gun section.  And I can tell you it is the most interesting thing I have struck in the Army yet.  I hear that they have got too many in the section and will have to fire some.  So I am going to try hard to stay.  There is not much to write about except that I have been taking a machine gun course for the last week and was down at the range shoot last Wednesday and you have to hang on to the gun like death when she is firing for there is a great vibration.  We hope to go to Longmoor Rifle Range next Sunday to practice with the Machine Gun so if you do not receive a letter for a few days don't worry.

 John Howard and yours truly took a hike up to Lord Tennyson's old place yesterday.  I wish you could see it.

Did you notice any funny parts of [sic] letter received from some of the 72nd fellows and published in the Vanc. Daily Province?  Pretty good hot air.

 Well I will say So Long for this time,

 Your Loving Son

Gordon

Address

#129876

   Pte CG McDougald

               72nd C. Batt.

                      4 Can. Division

                          Bramshott Camp

Machine Gun Section       Hants

                                          Eng.

C. Army Post Office

London England You had better use that London address.

 
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August 2, 1916 (Bramshott camp, england)

Dear Mother & all.

      I received Arch's Welcome[sic] letter ok and was very glad to get same.  It is Very seldom that I hear from Arch.  I got a letter from Grandma yesterday.  I suppose Bryson Whyte will try and get a commission.  The Army life is h--    alright for it is hard to be tied down you cannot go where you like or do what you like as for the work I do not mind much.

   You need not worry about me getting married to an English girl on this side of the pond unless she has got a few millions.

    No I have not run across Vicary I guess he must be in Shorncliffe.  A. Chilton is a Lieut. with the C.A.S.C. [Cdn Army Service Corps] H.Q.  Shorncliffe so if Vicary is there he will get a good Job [sic] I guess through Chilton

      We were out to the Longsmoor rifle range for about five days last week shooting with the machine gun.  I got seventy-five out of eighty that was in the classification.  But I do not know how I made out in the field work.  The field work we had to crouch behind the parapet as soon as the whistle blew put on our gas helmets and up with the gun and fire thirty shoots [sic] in a minute at twelve steel plates on the butts.  They were placed in line of four and were about 8 x 10 [inches]. I think I got one in the practice.  Then the last practice was a hard one.  You had to stand at the seven hundred yard range and when the whistle was blown you had to pick up your gun double to the the six hundred yd range place you [sic] gun and fire twenty rounds at twelve steel same as before.  After you have finished (he) the officer says gun over and you get down in front of the six hundred with your gun and as soon as he blows the whistle you double to the five and fire twenty rounds and so on up to the two hundred yard range.  You are allowed one minute per range.  You have three number tows.  The first comes up to the six hundred yard range and puts on you [sic] mag.  The second the five & four range and the third the three & two range.  When the whistle first blows four fellows double forward.  It was about 126o/ in the sun so you can bet that I did some sweating.  I think I got about eight down but I do not know at what ranges I knocked them down so do not know my score.

     Well I guess when you get this letter I will be in France for I think the Division will leave next week or early the following week.  Hoping you are all well, I am

                         Your Loving Son

                              Gordon

August 8, 1916 (Bramshott camp, england)

Dear Alice & Jack

       I received your well letter OK and was glad to get same.  This is going to be a very short letter.

      I was down to London last week for a three day holiday and had a great time.  We went to the Drury Lane theatre and it was wonderful especially the Scotch piece.  We are very busy getting ready for France.  And expect to leave some time this week but you must remember that we are in the Army and that means that we may go this week or a month from now.

       Hoping you are all well I am you Loving

               Your Loving Bro

                                          Gordon

 
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September 1, 1916 (france)

Dear Mother

    I received your welcome letter of the 7th Aug OK and am very glad to get letters especially when we are over here in France as there is nothing else to do but read letters if received, that is when we come out of the trenches.

     Well we have just finished our three or four days in the trenches and I must say it was interesting.  I am sorry that I can not tell you all about our experiences when in the front line.

      It was kind of a funny experience to be awakened by a big fat rat running over your face.  It is hardly worth while writing letters for there is nothing to write about.  You'r[sic] not allowed to tell any thing military so that is all my life consists of now so you can see how I am fixed.

     I meet[sic] Arthur Henderson about a week ago and he seems quite fit and well.  He has a job on water patrol behind the lines.  He is the only Peachland boy I have met since I arrived in this country.

     And as for some of the 1st Can Pioneers finding Douglas Henderson's kit it might have been true for he was buried under about eight-men and was only one who was not hurt. I did not see him myself but was talking to a fellow who saw Douglas about a few hours before.  Douglas has a good job in the Ordnance Dept. and I guess he will never see the front line again.  He is not a lieut.

     I am sorry that the 1st Can Pioneers and Frank Hayward, Findlay McMilliams, Ted Smith and all the others old sports and are down at rest camp and I don't think they will come back to this part of the line.

     Well I am well and hope you are the same.  This is not such a bad job after all.  That is as long as I am with the m.g.s. [machine gun section] But if I have to go back to the company I don't care how soon I get blightly.

                         Your Loving Son

                                     Gordon

PS

     I hope Alice will enjoy her stay at home.  Yes you bet I am looking for that parcel with that cake for when we came out nearly all the fellows in our crew got parcels but I was out of luck.  I am a little bit afraid that you are a little bit late with your vermin proof garment for it will have a hard job to gather in the harvest for we slept with the grey backs for three nights. Say make a ton of that Candy that is the stuff I want.  I received Alice's letter ok.  No I knew Alice was going home.  I was informed by wireless.  Say Candy play a game of tennis for me.  And see that you win.  Take Leone as partner.  I am playing tennis with live bombs now.

     I suppose you gave my love to Marion Dear.  It reminds me of good old times to hear her name and if you see her again tell her I will send her the first german helmet I get for a wedding present if she will tell me the date.

                         So Long

                           Gordon

September 27, 1916 (France) 

Dear Mother & all,

        I received Candy's welcome letter ok and I will try and answer some of your questions.

         Yes I am in the Machine Gun section.  Yes I got two parcels from you and I'm waiting for the third.  Let the good work continue.  Thanks for your happy returns of the day.  I celebrate my birthday by a very heavy bombardment.  We all got through ok so we should worry.

    I suppose Mr Hogg will feel a little sore on not winning a prize for he is a good player. 

Yes be sure and make that Xmas cake now so as it will reach me by Xmas time.  And a few fruit cakes and tea cakes would not come a miss.

      I think I better not say Any thing about the trenches for I am not a big enough of a liar.

     I will say good night.  Hoping you are all well I am

                   Your Loving Son

                                   Gordon

PS.

   Please don't worry about me.  I will try and write as often as I can.  But it is not like in camp

october 7, 1916 (france)

Dear Mother & all,

   Well I have not received Candy's letter this week but I guess she has written And it is having a job to find me.  I never stayed longer than twenty-four hours in one place.  We have been marching more or less for the last two weeks.  And these cobble stone roads in France are hard on the feet.

   Well how are things in old Peachland? I hope I will be able to see some of the home boys in a few days for we are going to fight on the same front.  I have not seen Howard since we left Bramshott.

      Say Candy in addressing my mail it will be as follows.

#129876

    Pte CGMcDougald

            72nd Batt

                Batt M.G.S.

                  c/o army Post Office, London, England.

I have not received your third (or fourth I have forgotten the number) parcel yet but I guess it will be along in a day or two.

     I hope Mother and that you and all the rest are well.  And I want you to promise me that you will not worry if you don't get letters very regular for it is a pretty hard job to write letters out here.  And a harder job to get them away.

    Say has Ben Gummow enlisted yet?  And what and where is Bryson, John, and Billy Sanderson doing?  Have they got their Sgt stripes yet?

   So Long.

                    Your Loving Son

                            Gordon

oct 16 1916002.jpg

October 16, 1916 (Somme Where in france)

 Dear Mother & all

      I received Candy's welcome letter ok all so [sic] parcel.  Many thanks for same.  Say in your next parcel please send me some Auto strope safety razor blades and a good heavy pullover sweater for it is beginning to get pretty cold.  Please send me an indelible pencil.

   I had the pleasure of meeting Collin McMillan and he told me that Jack McMillan was killed about two weeks ago.  I was up to see his grave this morning.  I also meet [sic] Harold Miller, Earn McKay and Chas Marne.  They are all well and looking fine.  Johnni Buchanan and Tom McLaughlin have got a blighty each.  And are enjoying themselves back in England.  Bert Robinson was up on a water patrol job so I did not see him.

       Arthur Henderson has got a good job on the Divisional Dental Staff.  He sure got a bomb proof.  I was up to see Howard, Billy and Harry Urquhart of the 54th Batt. the other day and they were all ok but hate the life just about as much as eighty to one hundred thousand of the Canadians do.

     Sorry that I did not write sooner but could not get writing material. Hoping you are well Mother and the rest.  I am

             Your Loving Son

                                    Gordon

       

oct 24 1916003.jpg

october 24, 1916 (france)

Dear Mother & all,

       I received Candy's welcome letter ok And was very pleased to get same.  Your parcel was received in good condition and many thanks for same.  Please send heavy socks next time please for they are much warmer.

      The other night we were up the line in a working party but have not done much fighting yet.

      I think the Can. Pioneers have left this part of the line for I was over to see Harold and Earn but only found deserted dug out.

     I think I told you about Jacky McMillan being killed also Harold Burkett.  Billy Sm Aitkens is reported missing And Teddy Smith has been wounded.  Well I guess I will have to close.  Please excuse the dirty paper for I had to eat Supper on the letter for room is scarce.  Hoping your well Mother and the rest are ok.

                 Your Loving Son

                         Gordon

Don't be disappointed if you do not get many letters from me.  I will try and keep up P. C. @

                        CGM

 

october 26, 1916 (france)

Dear Mother & all,

      Received Candy's welcome letter ok.  Say address my letters Batt Machine gun section not D Coy 15 Platoon.  What Picture was that I sent you, Was it one of Howard and yours truly?  You say that I look as if I was not enjoying Myself in England.  I only wish they would give me another chance.  Sitting Around the Camp fire reminds me of our fall hunting trips.  Has Arch or John done any hunting this fall yet?

    Say will you please remember me to Grandma and Aunty [sic] Candace.  Also thank Grandma for the mitts.  I will try and write her a letter myself.

     Hello Alice how are you?  Is Baby well and growing as fast as ever!

    I guess I will have to start and write to you for you will be away from home by now. I am glad to hear that Earn Aitkiens is looking well and is back in the old stamping ground.  Has he told you anything about this life?  In your next Parcel please send a few Candles.  The French want fifteen cents each for a candle.  I have not received your number five parcel yet, but I guess it will be along shortly.

      Well I guess I will close for this time.  Hope you’r [sic] well Mother and the Rest are ok, I am

         Your Loving Son

                                Gordon

December 6, 1916 (france)

Dear Mother & All,

     I have received your welcome letters of Oct 24th, 31st and Nov 11th ok and many thanks for same.  I have also received your parcel with the cake Candys pepermint [sic] handkirch and gum etc (ok) and many many thanks for the same.  I don't know what number that parcel was but it was Jake anyway.  All your parcels have been received in ok conditions up to date.

    I have some good news to tell you and that is we are out of the hot part of the line.  And Howard and your [sic] truly are both ok.  Who do you think I meet [sic] yesterday but Laura Hatfield of Summerland. He says Roy White is about seven mile a head of us billeted at a little town.  We are enjoying a well earned rest after coming out of the Somme.

     I am sorry mother that I did not write before but the conditions and time would not allow me.  Then we came right out and onto the road for about six days march.  So you see I have a good exercise.

    Some class to the Gummows this winter. Ben ought to be right at home in that house.  On the 18th, 19th, & 20th Oct I was doing working parties at the Somme but there was no need for worrying for every thing was Jake.

   Good for old Henrietta she has caught a man at last and she is doing it up quick for she is afraid Tiffe might change his mind.  Oh! I guess I will survive the shock.  It must have kind of lifted old Peachland out of the grave for a few days.  I guess by the time I get back there will be no girls left they will be all married off and I will be out of luck.

    I am very sorry that I did not date my Wis-bang cards but will do so in future.  I suppose you know that date, days & time are of no account out here so I have some excuse.  Yes I received a few vermin proof garments but they could not round up the cattle that were at large.  They certainly do help to keep down the live (over stock.  Well I am kind of out of luck about a razor now for I lost my big pack with every thing in it.  But I hope to get a new one from England soon.

   I thank you for your good wishes and return same by wishing you all a Very Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year.  I am

            Your Loving Son

                          Gordon

december 12, 1916 (france)

Dear Mother & all

     I received Candy's welcome letter of 7th Oct Nov OK. Also parcel containing socks, salmon, sardines, candy, and vermin proof shirt.  Many many thanks for same. Say will you please send me some Auto-strop razor blades in your next parcel.

     We are still enjoying our rest at ----and hope it continues for duration.

     To what battalion did Mr Theobald belong?  I guess it is good night for him if he has been missing since 9th Oct.  It is a word I don't like “Missing.”  We had a fellow missing for about four days but he turned up K.  So Will Aithens was not wounded or killed I am glad to hear that he is alive.  Art. Henderson told me he thought Bill had been killed.

      It has been snowing out all day and very wet and cold, I cannot help but think of the poor fellows in the line.

      Please give Maria some kind of a Wedding Present for me just for good old times sake. I suppose you girls will have a great time this winter if Mrs Mitchell and rest and in Mrs Sanderson are both living in town they will keep things lively.

     I certainly Hope Harry pulls through alright and think he will.

    One night when our battalion was coming out of the line We were acting as guides so as to enable the boys to find our camp.  It was a very still, (and) except for the guns, And misty night.  As I was standing on the hillAbove a heavy battery there floated out on the night air above the din of the guns “The Last cord” being played on the coronet, then followed the “Holy City,” and Home Sweet Home.  I don't think I heard anything which sounded so good as that coronet.

     Well Mother I guess I will close for this time please don't worry.  I will again wish you a merry Xmas and happy New Year.

         Your Loving Son

                 Gordon

december 17, 1916 (france)

Dear Mother & all,

    I received your welcome letter of 23rd Nov ok and was glad to get same.

    I received two parcels to-day [sic] one from the First Baptist Church, Vancouver,  containing two handerchiefs, [sic] two tins of oxo, one stick of shaving soap, one tin of tooth paste, a box of candys [sic], some fig biscuits, a bar of soap, a pencil and candle.  The other was from Alice.  She will tell you what she sent.  I received one from you a few days ago containing two pair of dandy socks, salmon and sardines etc.  I think I thanked you for the above in my last letter.

     No I have not sen Roy Davidson yet.  But I heard from L/Corpl W. Dryden, 54th Batt. that he is over here with, I think, the 102nd Batt.  I  am very sorry to hear of Harry Urquhart's death.  I thought he was getting along fine.  It is pretty hard for us to keep a line on the boys when they leave their Batt.

     We are still resting and enjoying it very very much.

   Well Mother I hope you are well And the rest are well also.  I again Wishin you all a Merry Xmas and happy New-Year.

                    Your Loving Son

                                Gordon

January 12, 1917 (france)

Dear Mother & all,

         Just a line to let you know that I am ok.

         I am very very sorry to hear about Howards [sic] death.  One of the Corp [Corporals] of the 54th told me to-day. So you see you folks at home know more about the doing over here long before we do.

        I will try and write you a long letter when we get out.  I received a nice parcel from Jack's sister also a very nice letter and they want me to go and stay with them if I get any leave.  And you can just bet I will take advantage of the kind invitation.

    Have you got much snow or cold wheather [sic]?

     How did Mr & Mrs Morrison take Howards [sic] death.  I have seen all kinds of fellows knocked out out here in France but it did not effect me like Howards [sic] death.

     Say Candy you seem to be very pessimistic when you said “I guess there will be more cables.”  Well we will hope for the best.

   Hoping you are all well I am,

                 Your Loving Son

                   Gordon

January 24, 1917 (france)

Dear Mother & all

        I received Candy's Welcome letter ok And was very glad to get same.  I see that Lt. Wingate and his sub. have turned up.  I am very glad to hear that he has turned up for old Peachland has lost enough.

         We have just finished a hard trip up the line.  It snowed about four inches And was Very cold.

          Say who do you think I got a parcel and letter from the other day but Jack's sister.  GEE! but it came in handy for we were in the trenches at the time living, I mean existing, on gov rations.  It only took about five minutes to dispatch that parcel.  I also got two small parcels from Alice and they hardly seen [sic] the wrapping off before they were na poo!

      Miss Marr ask [sic] me to come and stay with them if I got any leave and you bet I will.

      Well it is too cold to think so I guess I will close.

      Say how did Mrs Morrison take Howard's death?

      Who do you think I received cards from but Miss T Needham and Mr & Mrs Hogg.  I was kind of surprised when I received them.

       I hope you are all well and enjoying good wheather [sic], I am,

           Your Loving Son

           Gordon

february 5, 1917 (france)

Dear Mother & all,

      I received Candy's welcome letter ok and am glad to hear that you are all ok.

      Say how is Arch getting on I never here [sic] much about him. Tell him that I am looking for a letter from him.

      Well Mother I am glad to say that I came through the last trip in ok but many a poor fellow did not.

   The wheather [sic] is Jake now. 

      Say Arch is looking after that insurance if mine.

      I suppose John will be getting married pretty soon.  Is he still working with Keys?

     Say Candy is Ted Smith home yet?

     Hoping you are all well, I am,

                    Your Loving Son

                       Gordon

february 6, 1917 (france)

Dear Mother & all,

          Just a line to let you known that I am ok.  I received your welcome letters dated Dec 25th & Jan 4th.  We are just out of the line for a breathing spell but will be back in a few days.  The wheather[sic] continues very cold but I like it better than the wet wheather[sic].  I think I told you in my last letter how I spent my Xmas.

          I am very sorry to hear that you are all laid up with cold.  And I hope they will depart soon.

          I received a nice parcel from uncle W.J. to-day and was very surprised to get same. The reason I said Howard was ok was I meet[sic] Laura Hatfield and he told me that Howard had come through the Somme fighting ok.  But I am sorry to say he did not.  No I had not seen Howard for about three months.  I hope you did not tell Mrs Morrison that I said Howard was ok on 6th Dec. If you did so you can explain for I guess she takes it hard enough.

    Oh!  I lost my kit through an acc over sight of the fellow loading the wagon with our heavy packs.  I guess things will be a little different down at the skating Rink this winter a few faces will be missing. Is Leone going back to normal for the second term?

      No the man playing the cornet was miles from the front line trench.  He was with the heavy artillery.

       Oh! Say I received the sweater ok and many many thanks for same it saved my life while up the line 

this time for I would have frozen to death.  You can continue with the parcels for I could do with one for each meal they are always welcome.  Please don't think I am a hog.

        I hope mother will get over the cold all right be sure and take good care of her Candy.

        Say Candy if you see Mrs Clarence will you ask her for a little of introduction to her sister that is if she wants me to go and see her.  It would look kind of funny going up there without one.

         Hoping you are all well, I am

                Your Loving Son

                             Gordon

february 21, 1917 (france)

Dear Mother & all,

                          I received Candy's welcome letter of 15th Jan.

     Yes Candy I received your Xmas parcel ok also the parcel containing the sweater and again thank you for both. The sweater Just arrived in the right time to be of service during the Cold wheather [sic].

      The wheather [sic] has moderated slightly now and on worst enemy the mud has sprung into life again.  I prefer the cold to this mudy [sic] Wheather [sic].

    I think I told you what kind of a xmas I spent this year in my last letter. 

    Billy Dryden certainly was lucky to get leave.  Yes you can but I was one of the unlucky ones who was wandering towards the trench when Dryden was rolling over the steel to blighty.

    Good for old Jack McKinnon.  I did not think he was capable of handling a job of that kind.  I suppose Peachland will feel quite honored.

   The Vermin seem to do better in the cold wheather [sic] than warm.

   So Leone did not go back to normal for the second term.  Say is Ted Smith back yet?

     Well I guess I will close for this time. Hoping you are all well, I am

           Your Loving Son

                     Gordon

april 13, 1917 (france)

Dear Mother & all

      Well Mother I guess you know by this time that I have been wounded.

     Please don't worry Mother dear for I am doing fine.

     Well we had just got over the top on Eastern Monday and had advanced to about Frity's front line when I was stopped by a machine gun bullet through the back of the neck.  The wounded [sic] is pretty sore but not serious.  I am at time of writing lying on my back in the Etaples hospital.

      Say Candy don't let Mother worry for I am Jake.  Now be sure and do your best to keep her cheerful.  Tell Arch & John to do the best to keep Mother from worrying.    

    So Long for this time. Hoping your [sic] all well I am

           Your Loving Son

                             Gordon

 
15,Aprlie,1917002.jpg

april 15, 1917 (norwich Lakenham military hospital, england)

Dear Mother & all,      

       Well Mother here I am in Blighty doing fine.  And never was so comfortable before since the war began.  I will try and tell you all about the great do or “who took the Vim out of Vimy.”  The British and Canadians combined.

      Well we were out for a few days but I did not write home because I knew that I was going into the big advance Monday morning so I thought I would wait and see what happens.

      Well we went up to the trenches Sunday night arriving there about mid night.  We sat around down in a big tunnel until about five when we filed into the trenches to wait for the zero hour.  At 5.30 we blew a mine and the barrage started.  Then over the top we hopped.  Then the fun started for the machine guns opened up on us something awful.  My officer fell by my side shot dead but on we toiled.  At last I got stuck in the mud.  I struggled there for awhile until one of the boys took the machine gun from me until I got free again.  I pushed on again and awoke in Canada after a pretty little shley sleep in a pool of water in no-man's land.  I tried to take off my strapping's but old Fritz began to flick the dust or mud off my trousers with m.g. [machine gun] bullets so I lay still. And in short while somebody took them off and pulled them me into a shell hole.  There I lay for a few hours before I recovered enough to start for home, which journey I made on my hands and knees.  I got dressed at our dressing station.  After resting there for a little while I started to walk to Hospital Corner dressing station.  There my wound was redressed and I was sent down to the 11 field Amb by motor then to Grand Servins Brury where I stayed all night.  Next morning Etaples Hospital where I stayed until early Saturday morning.  When I was sent by Hospital train to Calais where we shipped for Dover and by H.T. to my present home.

      Say talk about fire works I guess  I will never see sights like that again. GEE! it was wonderful.

       Say write to me Candy at the following address 

The Lakenham Military Hospital

                    Norwick

                               England

    Well I guess I will close now.  So Long for this time.  I am

              Your Loving Son

                   Gordon

P.S.

  I forgot to tell you where I am wounded.  I was shot through the neck with a m.g. Bullet. But no damage done.  I am getting on Jake Mother.  Now Mother don't you worry.

                                           CGM

Say will you send me enough english  money or stamps to keep up my correspondents [sic] for they don't pay us in hospital.  If you don't I wont write.  Don't expect a letter for a long time for sisters is stamping this letter for me so don't forgot [sic].

april 17, 1917 (canadian red cross society, london)

Dear Madam

I beg to inform you that Pte C.G. McDougald                               129, 876    72nd Canadians                               

who is now at  Lakenham Military Hospital

          Norwick              Norfolk        England

Has been seen by our Red Cross Visitor who reports that he is suffering from a gun shot wound in the back of his neck.  He is very happy to be back in England and you may rest assured he is receiving every attention.

Any small comforts he may require will be sent him from here, and we shall be very pleased to let you hear of his progress from time to time.

                            Yours truly

                                              Constance Scott

                                                       C. W.  F.

april 18,1917 (norwich lakenham military hospital, england)

Dear Mother & all,

      Well I am having the time of my life.  I hope they leave me here for duration.  Everybody is so good to us all.  For goodness sake Mother dear don't worry for my wound is doing fine and I am up and around a little every day.

     Mrs Wallace wife of the O.C. of the hospital comes into see us nearly every day.  She comes from Hamilton Ont. She is the Canadian Red Cross representative here and is sf sure good to us all.

    I got a parcel, through Mrs Wallace from the C.R.C. Containing a safty [sic]razor, hair brush, shaving soap, brush, comb, tooth powder and brush.  She gave me this writing pad and a fell few stamped envelopes. 

     I sure will be up against it for English money to buy stamps.  The    C. R. C. don't supply stamps.

     Well mother I will try and write to you as often as the stamp proposition will allow me to do.  So long for this time Mother dear and please don't worry for I am doing fine and far from the big guns.

          Your Loving Son

                Gordon

april 27, 1917 (Norwich Lakenham military hospital, england)

Dear Mother & all

       Well I am still here but I am surprised that they have not sent me to the Con. Camp.

       GEE! But I am having the time of my life.  Every body [sic] is so good to us and I hope they keep us here for ever [sic].

       Mrs RR. Wallace wife of the O.C. of this hospital is very very good to us.

      I have been down town the last two or three after-noons [sic].  We took in the pictures this after-noon they are free for wounded soldiers.

       Please don't worry Mother Dear for I am doing fine.  And trying to swing the lead so as I will not have to go back to France.

       So long for this time Mother Dear.  I will write again soon.

                  Your Loving Son

                     Gordon

april 30, 1917 (norwich lakenham military hospital, england)

Dear Mother & all,

      Well I am still in the hospital. But I don't know why I am here.  My wound is nearly all healed up and I am feeling fine.

       I help the sisters and nurses all I can and I guess that is why I am here for the sister has the whole say.  She is kind of the head nurse of the ward.  Some times they have two wards to look after.

        I have not heard much about the battalion since I was hit And [sic] I wish you would send me the Canadian Causality [sic] list for I would like to know whow went down.  I can not follow the Imperial list for it does not give the number or the battalion.

    Well Mother please don't worry for I am doing fine it is Just like a fine holiday.  So Long [sic] for this time.  Hoping you are all well, I Am [sic]

                  Your Loving Son

                      Gordon

may 3, 1917 (canadian red cross society, london)

Dear Madam

I beg to inform you that Pte C.G. McDougald                              72nd Batt. Canadians no. 129, 876 

who is now at Lakenham Military Hospital

           Norwick, England

Was recently seen by our visitor. 

We are glad to say that we found him very well, his wounds are now nearly healed.

Pte McDougald is able to go out walking and is always contended & happy so we hope that he will soon be convalescent.

                                   Yours truly

                                              Constance Scott

                                                  per. M. L. P.

may 8, 1917 (norwich lakenham military hospital, england)

Dear Mother & all,

                       Well I am still in hospital as you see by the above address.  But have been billed out for Thursday.  So I guess my next letter will be from some convalescent camp.  I sincerely hope not for I could do with Another six weeks here.  I have been over in 14 the new big ward where all the walking cases are sent.

       I think I will have to drop a line to Mr Chilton and see if I can not work a bomb proof job here in England.

   I suppose you know that Mr Chilton has won his commission and is attached to the head quarters Staff the Canadian Army Service Corps.  

    Say have you got Mr Vicary's address?  I would like it so I may see if I could work a job through him.

  Well I am ok and cannot swing the lead any longer.  Hoping you are all well, I am

          Your Loving Son

               Gordon

May 12, 1917 (norwich lakenham military hospital, england)

Dear Mother & all,

        Well I am still here but I am surprised that they have left me here so long for I am feeling ok.

       I go down town every day and the other after-noon we were away up the river in a Canoe GEE!  But it reminded me of the good old time on the Okanagan lake.

       Say is Leone still teaching school.  I would hate to be one of her pupils.  Ask her for me how many straps she wears out in a week.

     I happened to bump into one of my own battalion fellows down town the other day.  And he told me that the battalion was pretty badly cut up.

     I am writing this letter sitting in a little summer house over looking the cricket grounds.  Say Mother this is paradise compared with France.

     I dropped a line to Mr Chilon the other day but have not heard from him yet.

      Hoping you are all well, I am

                 Your Loving Son

                Gordon

May 15, 1917 (convalescent camp epsom, england)

Dear Mother & all

      I am just dropping you a line to let you know that I have left the Lakenham Mil Hospital and have been sent to the Convalescent Camp.  My address is as follows. #129876 Pte CG McDougald, A Division, Hut 2, Convalescent Camp, Woodcote Park, Epsom, England.                                          Hoping you are all well And I would like to get a letter as soon as possible so don't be afraid to write for it will follow me.  I am Jake, So Long

                                   Your Loving Son                                                                                                      Gordon                               

June 9, 1917 (woodcote park, epsom, surrey)

 Dear Mother & all

    I received your welcome letter of 10th May ok any many thanks for same.

     Well if you would like to know where I was hit.  The bullet took a very little piece out of my right ear (on it road in) and came out just a little behind my left Ear [sic].  But it is all healed up now and every thing is Jake.

      Yes fire all the Questions at me you like And I will try and Answer all for I am allowed to write what I like.

     No the nursing Sister is the same as the other nurses and she is English not French but a peach.  About two weeks before I was transferred down here I was moved from 9 ward to 14 ward.

    So when Sister Baster heard that I was going out she sent word over to 14 ward by Patient Gilan to tell me she wanted to see me for she would not be on duty in the morning.  So I went over and wanted to know if she was going on leave to-morrow.  But she told Gilan that she would not be on duty in the morning so as I would come over the evening before leaving.

     No there is no chance of being sent home.  I will be sent back to France in about a month.  I was marked out from Epsom Hospital for Mondays [sic] list but was taken off and will be held for a few days. 

     No don't send any money for I don't want any.  I got a letter from Alice and a draft for £ 5-5-6.  which I think I will return to her.  For if I use it I will have a job trying to pay it back.

     I am Jake now and can get anything I want.  Hoping you are all well, I am,

            Your Loving Son

                                    Gordon                                                   

June 14, 1917 (woodcote Park, empsom, surrey)

Dear Mother & all,

                   Well I received Candy's welcome letter ok and as usual was glad to get same.

        I have been marked fit for the front again and am going on leave tomorrow.  But it will be some time before I see the other side.

        I was down to see Jack's brother Frank about two weeks ago.  It took me all after-noon[sic] before I found there [sic] place.  They are Jake.  He has got a very nice wife and a nice little girl about twelve.  The other girl was sick with the mumps or some such thing.

They live in a very pretty part of London.  And have a very nice home.  They have a nice little garden in the back yard also a little lawn in front with just a few nice Roses.

       I suppose you know that Billie Dryden has been killed.

      Say tell John that the Airial [sic] service is the only branch.  For every body that can work a transfer is trying to get into it.  Then you learn some thing in that service.

      I am very sorry Candy to hear that you had been laid up three times this past winter.  I hope you are well now.

      GEE. I am glad to hear that the cannery is going to operate this season.  It kind of help [sic] things out a little in the old Burg,

      Say is Leone in Peachland now?  Tell her I send my kind regards.

      Hoping you are all well, I am

                   Your Loving Son

                                  Gordon

june 26, 1917 (sussex, England)

Dear Mother & all,

          Well I forgot to send Candy and you a souvenir of Scotland which I had in my pocket when I wrote that last letter so I am dropping you this line.

         Hoping you receive them alright. I am

               Your Loving Son

                        Gordon

                                                  

july 2, 1917 (Sussex, england)

Dear Mother & all

    Well I received three or four letter[sic] from you the other day including that one addressed to me at St Johns Hospital, Etaples.

    Thanks Very much for Jack Turner's address.  I dropped him a note to-day And hope to hear from him in a few days.  I must addmit[sic] that I was a little surprised that he was in the Army.  

Ben Gummow has enlisted at last. Well he shouted some since in joining the Canadian Foresters Battalion for he is as safe with them as he is at home.  The Foresters are kept in England to cut timber.  It is a Jake Job.

    Thanks Very Much mother for the one dollar bill and the money Order for five.  But I am going to return same to you with my sincere thanks. But I can get payed here that is more than I could at hospital so I am Jake.

   Say Candy do you know who Mr Suddaby is?  Do you remember when Mr Taylor Johnnie McLaughlan's Brother-in-law was managing T.J. Smith's property a [sic] Summerland.  Bina stayed with her sister for a while.  Well this fellow Suddaby was working on the place and that is how they meet[sic].  He has a home-stead on the prairies. He is A Very decent sort of a farmer And I guess will make Bena a good husband. I wish them the best of luck.

    Say Candy tell Gertrude that I wish herself and husband a long happy, bright and prosperous married life.

  Major Sweet and Lt Jack Manley were killed and Lt Elliott was wounded

   No I did not get Mrs Clarencis letter yet.  I wonder if she wrote me.  For a letter will sure find me if it only has my number on it.

   No such luck as being invalided home.  I am at present training for France.  I have written the Col for a recommendation as I would like to make application for a commission. But I have had no reply.

     Yes Candy I received the parcels you mention ok  And I think I have thanked you for same before But if not please receive my sincere thanks.  And as for your short bread it was the best I have ever tasted.  Please send lots of that short bread it is Jake.  Well I am returning to you the five dollar money Order but think I will keep the one dollar bill as a souviner [sic] of Canada.

      Hoping you are all well I am.

                 Ever Your Loving Son

                                         Gordon

july 9, 1917 (Sussex, england)

Dear Mother & all,

          Well I am  Just dropping you a line to let you know that I am Jake.

           Say who do you think I meet [sic] the other night but Bryson Whyte, Johnnie Seaton, and Billy Sanderson.  And this morning young Chapman, Jas’ brother, who use [sic] to live up at Ospery Lake.  And second last but not least old Sam Michael Roy Stevens was here.  But left for France before I seen [sic] him.  He is a lieut now.  I meet [sic] young Yool the fellow that use to work in the Vancouver main office with me.  He was sent to Quesnel instead of yours truly.

       The Peachland boys had to reduce when they came over here. But Billy & Johnnie are Acting Sgts And Bryson is a L/Cpl.  I guess they miss Geo. Lang's influence.  They are all looking Jake.

      Thanks Very much Candy for those clippings from the paper.  I knew every one of those fellows very well.  And BG Funnell was my pal.  We were on the same gun together.  I certainly was sorry to hear about his death.

       The name of the little sister of my ward was Sister Baseter And she was a good head.  I have forgotten the nurses [sic] names. No Candy I have never had the pleasure of meeting that Miss Lees you spoke of.

      I am sorry to say that Frank is badly wounded.  I think he is shot through the lungs.

     Sure I have received all your letters since I have been wounded.  The letters will always fined [sic] you.  That is if you have not gone 'West.”

   Well I guess, I will have to ring off for this time.  Hoping you are all well, I am,

Your Loving Son

PS.                     Gordon

Say a [sic] dropped a line to Miss Mawhinney thanking her for her kind letter to you folks.  Say is Leone still teaching?

july 16, 1917 (sussex, england)

Dear Mother & all,

      I received Candy's welcome letter OK and many thanks for same.  I am writing this letter sitting on my bed and using my knee for a table.

     Well we are having great wheather [sic] here now. Say I meet [sic] Billy Lupton and Leighton McLeod.  They are both looking well.

    Say I was up to London last Thursday on escort duty.  And we had from eleven to two to our selves. While we were in an ice cream parlor two nurses came in and sat at the table opposite us.  After taking a very good look at my chum she said, “Were [sic] did I see you before.”  Then she asked him if he was at New Castle in hospital and he said yes.  She was his nurse while up there.  GEE!  They were to [sic] nice girls.  It was a darn shame that we had to go on duty in about fifteen minutes.  The two girls were going to France.  Over to the hospital at St Omar.  We may meet again over there.  It certainly was funny meeting these two girls in Coor where it would take you a life time to find a friend if you did not know where he lived.

    We won our machine gun competition again this week.  We had to assemble our gun double about five yards and fire a pan of forty-seven rounds at a target three hundred and twenty-five yards away.  The sixteenth and yours truly’s team did it in 4 minutes and nine sec.  But I got eight hits and he got only seven.

    Hoping you are all well  I am   your Loving Son  

                Gordon.   

PS.

    Candy I sent that Bank Money order back to Alice.  And thanked her very much for same.  But I would never be able to repay.  Well I had a great time on my leave and a very cheap trip.  I arrived here with about three pounds left.

    No I never got Mrs Clarences letter.  I sure would like to meet her sister.  I could get her to show me around London. Say Candy what does Miss Leeson look like.

     It sounds funny Leone acting as chaperone.  She must be getting old and stayed.

     I sure would like to get a letter from Arch.

     So Long.

                          CGM

july 25, 1917 (sussex, england)

Dear Candy & all

        Well I am Jake And Don't feel like writing so I am just sending you this short notice.  Please don't be disappointed Candy.  I sure will write a long letter to you soon.

                 Your Loving Brother

                                  Gordon

 

july 26, 1917 (Sussex, England)

Dear Candy,

        Well I will try and write that long letter But I am blowed[ if I know what I am going to say.

       I have donned the blues Again having been sent to Ravencroft[sic] hospital this morning with a skin disease. GEE!  But I am glad that I had it for I was warned for draft last night And when the doctor examined me he sent me to hospital instead of France. Well so much so good.

       Well I have been doing quite a bit of machine gun work lately. But I am afraid this trip to hospital will spoil my chances for an instructor's job. We lost the Competition last week. The Reason was that yours truly was not shooting that is why we lost. They had to shoot with gas masks any face was in such a shape that it would not allow me to take part. And I am not sorry that I could not take part.

         Well I caught for a scrub ball match between A & B Coys of the first reserve.  B Coys  beat us by one run 10-11.

         Say Candy guess who I meet the other day but Gordon Whyte.  My but he is looking well after his two or three years at the front.  He is over here on ten days leave from the front And he gave Bryson a great surprise when he walked in without saying a word.  Gordon makes about the seventh fellowI have meet[sic] in the last few days.

     Oh! I received Arch's letter a few days ago And by gosh I was pleased to get same.  Tell Arch to keep up the good work.

      The other morning we skipped parade and they blew the general assembly and caught about thirty of us And made us cut weeds on the parade ground for four evenings from 5.30 to 7 pm.  That is good for the troops.

    Hoping you are all well, I am

      Your loving Brother

PS.                          Gordon

 This hospital is about a stone throw from the Camp And I do not expect to be over here Very Long

                              CGM

   

 

july 31, 1917 (sussex, England)

Dear Arch,

                 I received your welcome letter of 16th June ok And many thanks for same.  GEE! But I was glad to get that letter.  I think it is the second or third I have received from you Arch since I enlisted.  Keep up the good work.  But be sure and regulate you [sic] speed meteor.

     Well I guess you will be surprised to hear that I am in hospital again.   And I will bet if you walked in the door you would not recognize me.  For I have about ten days growth of beard And my head all bound up.  I have got a lovely skin disease and They don't seem to know what it is.  They are keeping me in bed.  I am the only one in #1 Ward Havencroft hospital who is in bed.  This hospital is about a stones throw from Camp.  All orderlies here no pretty Canadian nurses so I am out of luck.

    Thanks very much Arch for looking after my Insurance.  But you folks might get repayed [sic] some day soon. I was marked for draft last Wednesday But when the M.O. saw my face he sent me to hospital instead.

   Is Ingles and the wife visiting Polw Powells now?  She has not driven poor Ingles crazy yet has she?

   I suppose you now that Emmett Shaw died of sickness.  Either down East or over here.

   My bold try for a Commission did not materialize.  So I have half a notion to try and transfer to the Forrester's.  But I don't know if they will take a III men.

    Say Arch if conscriptions comes [sic] in And you have to go (But I pray to God that you don't) sign on to anything but the infantry.  I think the flying Corp is the best.  But if you can not get in the C.R.F. try the CASC for your office experience will stand you good.  Next comes the Artillery, then the divisional signallers, The C.A.M.C.  The pay office is a very poor job unless you have been over to France and have been marked a low g category.

    Candy was telling me about the baby motor cycle that John had got.  Gee!  But I would like to have a ride on it.

     No I can not say I have had the pleasure of making Miss Vera Haye’s acquaintance.  I am glad to hear about old Carnie it shows that his heart is in the right place.

     No I never meet [sic] Frank Hayward.  But I have meet [sic] Henderson, Johnnie Buchanan, Harold Miller, Earnie McKay, Chas Marne, Morrison, Urquhart, Dryden and Osborne Needham in France and here in Seaford.  I have meet [sic] Bryson & Gordon Whyte, Billy Sanderson, Johnnie Seaton, Billy Lupton and young Leighton McLeod. So you see I have bumped into quite of a few of the old boys .

     I am sorry to hear about John and Georgina falling out for I would liked to have had her as a sister-in-law.

       McDonald came over to England with the 211th Batt they were sent to France as a Railyway Construction Batt.  And McDonald being in a trained section, namely the machine gun section, the section was drafted to the 128th.  And I don't know what has become of him since. His number is 258475 Pte A.J. MacDonald.

        GEE!  But I am glad to hear that the lawn and bushes are doing fine.  Say have you got the whole post office lot planted or just the usual piece.

        When I was in France they would not let me tell you that I cleaned my rifle they were so strict.

        Well I guess I will close for this time, So Long         

                        Your Loving Brother   

                                             Gordon

How is Leone these days?  Is she still teaching at West Bank?  Give her my kind regards.   CGM           

P.S.

Say tell Candy that I will answer her letter of the 22nd May, which I received a few days ago, shortly.

   Say Arch teach Candy the use of the typewriter and make a good operator of her.  For men are scarce and she should have some profession.       CGM                  

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august 5, 1917 (sussex, england)

Dear Candy & all,

        I received your welcome letters of 22nd May & 4th July. Any many thanks for same.

        I am still in the Haven Croft Hospital And enjoying my stay.  They have transferred me from ward I to 24 in which we are quarantined.

        Say Candy many happy returns of the day.  I hope you will have many such days to celebrate.  But have forgotten if it is the fourth or fifth.  Sorry I am not able to sent you some token of remembrance.

  I know nearly every one of the fellows mentioned in your clippings, that is all the 72nd.  And Yool who was the fellow sent to Quesnel instead of me.  He is here up in the CCD.  I have often seen him.  And the other banker Lieut. C.C. Temple went out as a private And won his Commission.  Yool was telling me that former accountant of the Granville St Branch of the Northern Crown Bank had been killed.  Yool thought that it was yours truly.  I don't know Capt Dick Spinks but I do Dear old Major Seveet. And Capt Joe Ross was one of our highly respected officers.  He was battalion signalling officer then he took second in Command of D Company. 

      Say Candy you want to get busy and learn to be a steno.  And operator for either of the above mentioned occupations are more respectable (thought of) than a counter-hopper or telephone operator. Yes the English girls are trying to make hay while the sun shines but I think most of the boys if they don't get killed at the front will go back to the good old Canadian girls.

     Yes you bet I received the one dollar bill And Am going to keep it as a souvenir of the Cand of the Maple Leaf.

     Sure I will call on Mrs Clarences' sister if I ever get that letter.  It has not come to hand yet.

    Say give me the address of Grandma's people in Ireland for I want to go and visit them when I get my next sick furlough.

     Tell Ted I send him my best regards And wish I was back in the little side hill valley town.

     Say is Hugh And Miss Pentland going to make a match or is she going to take a school at the Coast?

     Say Tell Leone for me that I am badly in need of those socks.  And I hope she will sends them soon.

     Oh! That nurse And yours truly are na-pon.  I must say she was a very good looking girl.

    Hoping I will see you soon (when peace is declared) And that you are all well, I am

         Your loving Brother

            Gordon