25th September 1916

At Halifax. This was a great day last year, for it was the day on which the Loos affair took place. We were here, and I remember the news being sent by special wireless from England, and how it was received with cheers.

It is a great day this year in a way, for today a letter (dated 11th) arrived from Mother informing me of Marion’s wedding. Now this is rather a peculiar coincidence for when I wrote to Jude on Saturday I spoke about Joe’s “expect to come next week” stunt and wondered if he had got fed up with it. At the last I wrote “I am wondering after writing so pessimistically whether ere this reaches you the airmen at Joe’s place have stopped smashing up machines, allowed him to get home, and get the business over”. No when I wrote this I was prompted to by some “feeling” which told me that there had been something doing – at last, so I put it in as a precautionary measure in case my pessimism proved wrong.

I am glad to hear the wedding went off successfully and that at last they have been made happy – if so my prayers will have been answered. Mother has tried to write cheerfully, but I can understand how she feels Jude’s departure. I have been dreading that part of the business, and it is worse now that Dad is not able to get home so often. I only hope you and Ethel will see to it that Ma is not allowed to notice Jude’s absence too much. I wish I had been handy to her during the bad times following Jude’s departure.

I am sorry that I missed the ceremony, for I did so much want to be present to see my dear sister embark on her new career. I am glad Bert Edwards came into the breach, and it is good of him to do so much for his old chum. I can only hope they will have the happiest of married careers, and may we all meet again soon.

Mother puts in a good word for you and your great assistance to her. I expect you will be greater friends than ever (if that is possible) now that Jude has gone, foe Mother will require your company so much.

Mother informs me that I have won a book prize for “Bullets”. I sent in four whilst at home. This is the first time I have won anything, and both Ma and I have tried hard and often, so this little success is rather encouraging.

Another big liner-transport came in today so now there are three here. It seems true enough about our escorting these vessels across the Atlantic but I don’t think we shall see Plymouth. I also have reason to believe that after we have finished with them our return will not be to Halifax, but more likely Bermuda.

10-30 p.m. Leave was given so I thought I would take advantage of this, the last chance for a while. I also wanted to see a picture featuring Charlie. Went ashore at 4-30 p.m. with one of the S. B. A’s. We first went for a walk in the country and then into the town, arriving there at 6-30 p.m. Changed some money in the Khaki Club and then went to the “Imperial”. The place was packed and I can understand it in view of the two good picture shown viz:- Charlie as “Floorman” (Shopwalker) – one of his latest Mutual Chaplin Pictures – and “Should a woman Forgive”, a drama featuring that splendid actress Miss Lorraine. These two pictures took about an hour and a quarter, both being very long. Charlie was great.

Came out from the “show” at 8-45 p.m. then went down to the Club again and had a look at the English papers in the Reading Room. I first thought of writing to Jude congratulating her but realising that we should probably arrive in England before the mail I elected to wait until we reach there. Left the Club at 9-15 p.m. and returned aboard.

The air is very keen tonight and one could do with a coat, yet the shops are just getting the Fall clothing in the windows, and the ladies are still clad in light clothing. I can realise how used to the cold they must be since I am told the temperature drops to 20 or more degrees below zero here in wintertime.

On arrival aboard I had a pleasant surprise for a letter from you awaited me (dated 10th). It is peculiar, in fact funny, for you letter written before Mother’s yet arriving later informs me of Joe’s arrival and the coming marriage, whereas I am already informed by Ma that it has taken place. This lets you know how we get our mails – any old how but just as acceptable I’m sure.

You inform me of a visit you paid in company with Jude to a fortune-teller. One particular point in your version of what you were told tickles me, and that is how she may have hit the mark in saying you would soon meet the young man you had recently been in company with. This may be true, if so I shall not be altogether sorry that we had to do this journey. A most happy and long letter and how thankful I am for such a good inspiration.

Two transports are in alongside the jetty and judging by the cheers and band playing, the men embarking are anything but downhearted. Our lads are splendid fellows this way, and under the circumstances – they must remember the possibility of not seeing Canada again – unbeatable.

Well now I’m going to bed (11 p.m.) the cheering is still going strong. This has been a great day, thanks to the news from you and Ma.

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