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Letters From Bill – Sept. 1, 1944

Dear Folks:

Well, I am finally going to try and write to you but if you can’t make it out it sure isn’t my fault. I never thought anyone could get so weak but I can hardly make the pen go where I want it to as you can see by this mess already. Well in case you are wondering I am well on the way to getting better, today the Doc said I was doing swell.  For awhile I guess it was pretty close for me but I pulled through.  Believe me I never want to be so sick again.  The bullet went in my back through my right lung and out just at my right breast and it sure made a hole.  Maybe someday I can tell you about my reaction after being hit.

I was out for two days and when I came to I was in a British hospital.  After ten days there they moved me to a Canadian  hospital where I stayed for two weeks. Then this week last Sunday I flew from France to England and here I am in the 11th Cdn. Gen. Hosp. and they really looked after me. For two weeks I was in a private room but now I am in the ward. The Sisters are really swell to me and I have a lot of fun with them. I am sitting up writing this and it is my third time out of bed, talk about weak. I can’t even walk. They have to carry me to the chair. I only sit up for an hour or so and I sure feel like getting back in bed. You wouldn’t know me if you saw me. I am just skin and bone. I doubt if I weigh much over a hundred. A little Sister about five feet two picked me right up and so I can’t be very heavy.

The thing that made me maddest was this. When I was out they took your watch, my pen and pencil, my wallet and my pay book. I never got any of it back. There was five pounds ($25.00) in my wallet but the watch really hurt. It was the fellows who dressed my wounds at my Regt. who did it and I can’t get them back. I don’t think I need any money because I am only allowed one pound a day in the hospital. The reason I couldn’t write was because the muscles pulled my wound open and I couldn’t move my arm. I had an operation about two weeks ago and they cut out a rib and put a tube into my lung to drain it. It is still there but I guess it will be out soon. It sure is a queer feeling. As for penicillin, I got that every four hours right up until yesterday. Sure glad I don’t have to pay for all of it.

I wouldn’t look forward to seeing me home soon, as yet I don’t know what will happen.  They won’t send me back to France for some time, but the Doc said I was through for this war. However, I’ll believe it when I see it. I sure wish I could get home but it all depends on how serious the wounds are.

Don’t worry about me folks because I am well on the road to recovery and will be about soon. Sorry about the letters, but it was impossible to write. I am on a special diet here and I really get some swell meals. Milk every meal, chicken, eggs, etc. so I don’t do too badly for myself.  There is one Sister here I really have a lot of fun with, a Sister MacDonald from Regina. She dresses my wounds and I really have a time with her. This is her pen I am using and she makes me clean her belt, shine her buttons, etc. I get away with murder with her, far more than the other fellows.… I sure wish I could be home for Christmas but I don’t count on it but it doesn’t hurt to hope.

Give my very best regards to everyone and I hope to see them all soon. Boy, I am getting pretty tired and slightly dizzy so I hope you can read this. Well I guess this is all for now but I will try to write again soon….

Keep those letters coming fast and all the best to all of you. Don’t worry. Lots of Love to All, Bill


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