Sunday, October 20, 2013

9 May 1916 Flanders

Dear Mother, Father and the Rest:

Your letters of Apr. 8 and 16 came ok. The one I had not rec’d last week was sent to the 5th Engineers by mistake and came a day or so after I had written.

I was glad to learn that Orville had won his case alright. If he had lost it would have meant a lot to him. It will relieve his mind of a lot of worry now. I guess he will need all his time to get and look after help for it will likely be more scarce than ever this summer. The problem of getting the crops harvested in the west this summer is going to be pretty serious.

Have been working nights in the hospital for a week now, but it is not very hard and as things have been rather quiet we have not had much work to do. Our section is taking over the hospital tomorrow and I go on the Surgery. Have most of the dressing to do etc. We were to have taken over on Sunday but we all got innoculated and have been under the weather ever since. This dose was a very heavy one and we are excused duty for at least 24 hours. Temperatures go up and it gives us a bad headache and also a mighty sore chest (that is where they inject the serum). It is a good deal better than running the risk of contracting typhoid. It is surprising the small number of typhoid cases out here and also all the other diseases. We have to deal mostly with cases of influenza, trench fever, minor injuries such as sprained ankles etc. Occasionally we get a few cases of measles, mumps and once in a while a case of meningitis. These are rare however.

Had a letter from Bill the other day. He has been transferred to Shorncliffe Camp and will be going through the same tactics as I went over last summer. Just as he was going up to his first exam he was quarantined on a/cc of one fellow in his hut catching the measles. They are certainly strict about any of those contagious diseases and any suspects are isolated immediately.

The weather over here has been great up until yesterday when (it) turned cold and today it has been raining all day. Everyone in the tent has been in bed all day for on a wet day with no where to go, and when there are 10 men in a tent, the only way to get any peace or comfort, is for everyone to crawl into his blankets. We all felt good and ready to do that today for the innoculation made us all pretty miserable.

This is Wed. and I am writing this in the surgery and must get it finished now.

Word came in this morning that Jack Lumsden, a Vic boy and friend of Bill’s, had been killed last night. His body was brought in shortly after and is going to be buried tonight. A shell struck the YMCA he was running and he had a fragment strike him on the forehead. He must have been killed instantly. He was still on our strength although attached to the YMCA and he was one of the most popular boys in the unit.

Have had a very busy day in surgery. Been on the dead jump since 7 o’clock this morning and it is nearly supper time now. There are two of us on the job and we try and let each other go for an afternoon or part of it every other day.

Saw Billy Redburn the other day, he was down here with a convoy and came over to our camp to see me for a few minutes. They have moved down here since though and no doubt I will be able to see him often. Stanley Johnston of Gorrie looked me up the other day too. He had been next camp to ours, up where we were before we moved and I didn’t know he was there. Both boys are looking well.

Have only a short time to write and must not let this letter go any longer. So will make “a noise like a door and close”.

Love to all,

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