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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Letter #7, November 23rd, 1914 from France

Letter #7 November 23rd, 1914.  
From Charles Roy Bailey in France to his Mother in Viceroy Saskatchewan, Canada. 

Charley's 7th letter home was written on some pretty nice stationary courtesy of the new home of the No 2. Stationary Hospital; the Golf-Hotel du Touquet.  In the 'War Story of the C.A.M.C.', Touquet is described as "the finest and best laid out golf course on the continent of Europe". The owner, Allan Stoneham reportedly "gave it over with great goodwill and donated an operating table for the purposes of the unit."   
One hundred years on, this resort's writing paper still feels like fine linen.


Golf-Hotel Du Touquet
Etaples (Pas-de-Calais)
Nov 23 /14
France

Dear Mother,
I guess your are worried at not hearing from me for so long, well we have been moving around so much that it was very near impossible to write more frequent. We were the first of the Canadians to land in France. Needless to say we are very proud of the fact. The weather here is grand and the place we are located at is beautiful. Talk about Victoria being a nice place well it is a desert in comparison to France.

The Hindus look quite different in uniform than what we saw in Vancouver and it seems to me that they are a cleaner class. France is a very funny place quite different to what I expected to see. The people are very anxious to do nearly anything in their power to oblige us in anyway.

As you will notice I cannot tell you just where we are in France but I have saw a few of pretty good-sized cities.

The hospital that we have is fine, the quarters that we sleep in was at one time a golfers club with pictures, bath, two fireplaces and a beautiful ground. The boys are in such good humor that it is more like a vacation than war. The Officers are so lenient with us that it goes a long way to make the work more cheerful.

I suppose VV is doing well at College. I am going to write her tomorrow. The girls at college I guess would look at it as a kind of novelty for her to get a letter from somebody at the Front.

Is business just as good as when I heard from Father? I never hear anything from Manitoba at all. Dads letter in England was all I have heard of any of you since we left Valcartier. So you see my transferring to the Hospital changed my address and all my correspondence was lost. But I don’t think it will be long till the war is over. The Germans are getting it on every side and the German public are beginning to realize what the German military officials are, and how they have been kept in the dark.

Well Mother I will be able to write often now. So I will close. My address you will find on the other page. Remembrance to Dad and V-V.
Chas

CR Baily
No 2 Stationary Hospital
First Can. Exped. Force
France

Bye Bye




Not mentioned in Charley's letter home is the note in his service files showing that on the 20th, 21st and 29th of November 1914 he was Absent Without Leave in Boulogne and was docked 3 days pay.
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Sources:
War Story of the Canadian Army Medical Corps  http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/adami/camc/camc.html#XII 
The WW1 service files of Charles Roy Bailey Canadian Expeditionary Force  #34260