Letters From Garnet – Witley Camp, April 17, 1919

May 16, 2012 by Jason Duprau

 “…thousands of men out of work…”

Witley Camp, April 17, 1919

Dear Folks,

Well: here we are in Blighty and finished with France and Belgium, I hope.

It’s mighty good to be in a land where you don’t have to try swallowing your tongue when you want to say something and one can live almost like a human being.

We left Belgium for the base March 31, spent a couple of days there getting fumigated, clean clothing, etc. and landed at Southhampton April 4.

I had been dreading the trip across the Channel for weeks, for as I think I have already told you, I am a rotten sailor and am usually pretty generous to the fishes but we had a fine passage and I hadn’t the least desire to turn inside out.

The labour situation is pretty bad over here. Thousands of men out of work in some parts and in other parts the employers can’t get sufficient men. London, of course, is especially bad, as are all the other large cities.

I’ve learned to travel around London almost as well as in Belleville and she’s some burg too.

I spent a great deal of time in the theatres and here is where they have the top-notchers. You can see any kind of a play or production that suits your fancy, from grand opera to burlesque, any afternoon or evening.

I scarcely know what to do with myself in camp now. We are having a very easy time, scarcely anything to do and we’ve got to put in about three weeks of it yet.

As far as I can learn, we are to sail the first week of May, subject to alteration any time of course, and should be home about the middle of the month. Not very long now but each day seems harder than the last.

Received your letter of March 8th yesterday. It has been chasing me for about three weeks and finally caught up. Glad to learn you are still alive over there. Was beginning to think otherwise…

…I’ll ring off. Hope by the time you get this we shall be pretty close to sailing and it’s only a matter of days before seeing all then.

Trust all are well. I am “in the pink.”

Yours as ever, Garn.



Selection from the letter collection of Sergeant Dobbs, to his sister Millie and his brother Walter
CWM 20050153-001
George Metcalf Archival Collection
© Canadian War Museum

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