11 Apr 1918, Witley Camp [Letterhead]
Witley Camp. [Note 1]
[MAY 2 1918 stamp]
Don’t be surprised at the heading of the letter, I haven’t changed my job, that is not permanently. There was no school at Bexhill for a while so they sent some of us down to the reserves to help out with the instruction of the men from
who, of course are needed at the front as soon as possible. My address however,
is still C.T.W.S. Bexhill [Note 2].
I expect to go back there on the 20th. Canada
I received both parcels just before I came down here. Both were fine, and thank you very much. Everything was just what I wanted, [next page] my sock supply ought to last me a couple of months now. Sugar is almost out of the question here, so that and tea or coffee are fine.
The cake was grand, and tastes like more. Also the Betty Brown chocolates. Candy of any kind here is about impossible. Please thank Mrs. Chant and Marvel for the socks, and also Mater for hers. Cigarettes are also very scarce here. That is, Players.
One thing you might include occasionally is batchelor’s buttons. I don’t like the brand here.
I also got several letters since I last wrote. The last was 17/2. You seem to have had a very severe winter. Ours doesn’t seem like winter at all. Just bad weather such as we would get at home in March, with a few fine days thrown in. ‘Samples’ in other words.
You asked me about the voting several times, and I forgot to tell you. I was [next page] at Bramshott at the time, and of course there was big discussion among the troops, with a majority for Borden [Note 3]. As I was slated for Tillsonburg, and that was a Borden stronghold, I made a loose vote, so I don’t know where they put it. So you also cast your first vote, Mater. Nice, coming of age, isn’t it? [Note 4]
I got a letter from
the same day that you wrote yours, 17/3. She is talking of coming over as a
V.A.D. I hope she does. I shall be able to see her if she is anyplace in a
radius of a couple of hundred miles. [Note
It was rather like the old days travelling home from Cayuga, to come down here. We left Bexhill at 1.15 p.m. and went to
where we were an hour. Incidentally I had a very funny thing happen there, I
had heard [next page] that Mrs Higgs, and Maud, from Barrie, were there, and
when I went down the street there to get something to eat between trains, I
came across them on the street. Just fancy, the only two people in all Brighton that I knew.
We changed at Brighton and went to Havant, near
, where we had
another hour to wait, and then we came on here. We got to our station,
Millford, at 8 p.m. and had an hour’s walk to camp, and didn’t get settled till
about eleven o’clock. That was on Tuesday night and now it is Thursday. We
haven’t done any work yet, but we are expecting to be called on any time. So in
the meantime we are having a lazy time staying in the [next page] hut. Portsmouth
Well I have been up to the
in Bexhill, several times,
and they are very nice to me. There are Doctor + Mrs Kent, who are all that are
generally at home, but there are three sons at Kents Rugby,
who came home just before I left. They seem fair specimens though a bit
bumptious, perhaps, especially the youngest who has a great opinion of himself.
The eldest is just eighteen, and soon going into the army, and the youngest
about fourteen. They are musical, and we have had quite a bit of it there. Mrs plays the
violin a bit, and she has a friend who plays the cello quite nicely, so I have
been playing the accompaniments. They have a nice Steinway player piano which I
am at liberty to use at any old time. Kent
Altogether it is quite nice to have them there.
There has been practically nothing doing here, and I am having a very easy [next page] time.
I don’t think I ever told you I got the books you sent. I did, quite a while ago, and enjoyed them very much.
I don’t think there is very much else just now, so I shall close. My address is still C.T.W.S. Bexhill.
Love to all.
Your loving son
|Witley Camp, Surrey, 1916|
|Down Council School, 1902|
Site of the CTWS
(now King Offa Primary School)
4. This probably refers to the passing of the Canada Military Voters Act (20 September 1920), whereby women who are British subjects and have close relatives in the armed forces can vote on behalf of their male relatives in federal elections.
Voluntary Aid Detachment nurses (VAD) were created as a reserve of emergency
auxiliary nursing assistants in 1914 under the aegis of the St. John Ambulance
Association; Consisting of semi-trained nurses who supplemented the domestic
military medical services, the role of the Canadian VADs evolved with the
advent of the war into fulltime nursing assistance at home and overseas.
Notably, Amelia Earhart, after visiting her sister in 1917 at a college
preparatory school in Canada Canada,
decided to train as a nurses’ aid in
and subsequently served as a VAD nurse at a military
hospital until the Armistice in November 1918. Toronto