Remember Me

Remember Me

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Been a while ... Letter #34 Early January 1916

Early January 1916
Medical Depot
Sandgate, Kent, England

Dear Mother
          You must forgive me for not writing previously for I have been so terribly busy we got here all okay and have returned to duty.  The trip was fine the only thing that was wrong was the last couple of days we were not allowed to take off our clothes as there were submarines around and when the alarm came half the fellows near went mad, but I took my time and came out alright - some got their legs crushed in the rush.
          Well Mother how are the horses now and did you have that dance you were talking about having .  I am all choked up with the grippe just now.  But I guess I will be alright in a day or so.  I met a bunch of the old boys from France and we were sure glad to see each other.  I wrote to Major Staples in Winnipeg and I might get off all right when he comes over here.
          I guess I could get a commission under him but it is in the Infantry and you know how much I like the Infantry.  However time will tell.  
Is V-V still going to the school in Holland.
I met Ruby and Ernie in Montreal and when I left them at the depot poor Ruby nearly cried, well Mother do you ever hear from the new Mrs Ireland and how they are getting on.
Well Mother I am going to lunch now.  So remembrance to V-V and Dad and write soon

An update January 1916

Charley volunteered in August 1914 as a Private with the Canadian Expeditionary Forces.

He arrived in France in November of 1914 and was among the first of the Canadians to land in France.  Upon arrival he commenced his work as Medical Dispenser at the #2 Stationary Hospital at Le Touquet.

As of January 1916, Charley has served for 17 months.  He has just turned 23.
I know I do not have every letter he wrote home (he mentions writing at least twice a week).

I have a total of 88 letters spanning the years 1914 to 1919. These were lovingly saved by his sister (and my grandma) Vida Valerie. 
When Charley wrote to his mother, she would then forward the letters on to VV at college. 
It's a wonder that any still exist. 
The 1916 calendar below tells us what day it was 100 years ago, and on what days Charley wrote these letters home. I've marked them on the calendar.

And so the story goes ...
I'm guessing on the date of this first January letter as there's no envelope attached and no date stamp. And so, I'll split the difference and post it this afternoon.