Sunday, July 3, 2016

8 July 1916 Flanders (or possibly now in France)

Dear Folks,

This is Saturday night and I have just come off duty at the hospital and am going to spend the evening writing letters. I have had two letters from home this week and one from Mae although it was an old one;it must have been delayed somewhere.

I was sorry that you had not fully recovered, mother, but you will no doubt be on your feet again before this. Why don't you take the summer off for you must surely need a good rest. Is Norma going to take that position in Toronto? So Vern is making lots of money selling tea. That is a good job for him this summer and if he works at it steadily he ought to make a good bit by the end of the summer.

Was I telling you in my last letter that I had seen Jack McMeecham? I went down to his camp last Sunday and had a chat with him. He was all through the fighting at Ypres and never had a scratch but had some narrow shaves. He wears kilts and looks pretty good in them. He had a letter from Orville a few days before and let me read it.

The weather here has been rather rainy this last week but, on the whole, it has not been too bad. We have a D.R.S. here and it accommodates about 150 or so patients and, in a pinch, it can be almost doubled. Just now, however, we only keep about 100 on hand, and so in case of a rush, we can accommodate a lot more if necessary. There are no wounded, just sick, and they require considerable attention. All cases of sprains, influenza come to us and we are busy from 7 am to 7 pm attending to them. the hospital is a tent hospital and has several wards, each a large marquee that can hold 20 stretchers easily. One man has charge of each tent. I like the work only the hours of duty are long, 12 hours, and it is hard to get a relief. I would much rather be at the advanced dressing station for we can have a good deal more freedom there (that is so far as Fritz will let us). Our NCOs do not bother us up there but back here they fairly dog the life out of us.

There is a special hospital here that "B" section runs. It is a hospital where all cases of  "Self-inflicted" wounds are taken and they are kept there pending an inquiry or if necessary a court-martial and then if guilty through carelessness or of deliberately wounding themselves, they receive a sentence varying as the evidence shows up the circumstances. There are about 60 patients there now and as soon as their sentences expire, they are shipped over to England if they are still required to be in hospital.

The country is just great these days and the first chance I get, I am going to get a day off and take a long walk through the hills here. The highest point in France (in this part) is only a few minutes walk from here and a splendid view of all the country can be had from that point. If a fellow only had a wheel or a horse, he could get over some ground in a short time for the roads are great here and a person could surely enjoy a few afternoons out riding or walking.

Well, I want to write two or three letters tonight so I'll sign off and get at the others before it gets too dark.



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