November 21st 1915
Hello to everybody. Just in Canada long enough to write and say that I got in on the 16th and am leaving Quebec on the 21. Isn’t that fierce. I just got out of the hospital in England when they wanted a dispenser for a ship load of wounded that were going to Canada. So at half past eight in the morning I was told to report to Headquarters Shorncliffe at nine and at half past nine I was on my way to Liverpool to Sail for Canada.
On arriving here they wanted me to go straight into a Hospital and work till the boat went back. I went to the Officer commanding in Quebec and said it was a funny thing if I couldn’t get a pass home for a few days. Well you should have heard him rave, well I say “if you won’t give me leave to home will you give me permission to go back to Montreal for a day or so?” then the trouble started. He told me that some of us fellows should be put in the coop for a few days and we would learn that we were soldiers now, I spoke right up to him and said “yes, and if some you fellows were in France as long as I was you would know what a soldier was” well then he questioned me as to what I belonged to and where I was in France etc. and ended up by giving me three days in Montreal and no money.
Mother this is the first letter I have ever written since I joined that has not been read by others before getting to any of you and I could tell you things about this infernal outfit that would make you wonder. However I am in it and have to do as I’m told so that ends it. I have to go back at it again without seeing any of you so I might just as well cheer up and take it as it comes.
Ruby has a very nice little suite here and her and Ernie are a happy as little pigs in dirt. And I don’t think married life has disagreed with either of them. Ruby was telling me that V-V was going to Portage to go to school for the winter. I hope she will like Portage, as I think the teachers there would be a little bit better versed than those of Holland.
Well Mother how is Dad. Do you know I have not heard from any of you since Sept. My mail has been sent all over the country to locate me but as yet I have never received any of it. I hope this winter will not be to hard in Manitoba. I have been talking to some of the people of Montreal and they say that times here are terrible. Well believe me Mother, I have had some pretty tough times myself and have lived in conditions where two years ago I would of laughed at. But it’s a poor man who can’t take his medicine and by gosh I’m getting mine and no prospects of bettering them. Well Mother I hope this finds V-V, yourself and Dad in the best of health as it leaves me not bad. So remembrance to Dad and the kid.Love Chas.
Aunt Rachie, Ina, Ruby, Annie and Harry Richmond come up frequently in Charley's letters. Ruby is Charley's cousin, 2 years younger. They grew up together. Ruby was the 3rd of 4 children born to Jennie's older sister; Rachel. Rachel married James Richmond in 1888. Ruby (Charley's cousin) married (Ernie) Ernest Pearen in 1915.
PHOTO OF 1915 Montreal : Wm. Notman & Son, Corner St. Catherine and Stanley Streets (detail), looking east, Montreal, Qc, 1915, VIEW-15468 © McCord Museum