Letters from the Front

Private John Cushnie

Life of a convelescent, and an honest view of being in France

Private Collection

Friday, October 11, 1918

Transcribed by: Anne Hales

Clarence House
Priory Lane
London S.S. 15

Dear Folks at Home:-
Haven't had a letter from Canada for nearly a month now but I suppose I will have to be patient as they will likely come in a bunch from the Army P.O. some of these days.
I received your cable all right last Sunday and had no trouble getting it cashed.. You may have wondered at my funny address but "Opiclaren" is the code word for this place in telegraphing and saved me a few shillings in the address.
Last night three of us went to the Putney Hippodrome1 and saw a very good show. The best part of it, in my opinion, was a short recital on the pipe organ by a wonderful player who was assisted by a lovely contralto soloist. He certainly did wonderful things on that pipe organ and I wish you could have heard him as I think you would have enjoyed it fully as much as I did.
In all the theatres around here, moving picture shows included, there is, besides a good orchestra, a pipe organ and often I enjoy the music better than the show or the pictures themselves.
Life in this place is just like a good holiday. In fact, as one of the fellows said we are treated here more like guest than patients and all the wounded boys agree that this is quite the best hospital they were ever in. Of course we are not all our own bosses as we have to be in by 8 P.M. every evening unless we have a late pass but that is better than in most hospitals and besides we can have all the afternoon off.
On Tuesday night we had a -----? drive and I was lucky enough to get third place and got a nice pair of woolen gloves and a handkerchief. Of course we had to have a little spread which consisted of cake and coffee and Canadian maple sugar.
The good news in the papers still continues and things look better every day. Surely the end of the horrible business will soon come.
I suppose you will be hoping that it will be over before I have to go back again. Well, of course you can never tell, but when you consider that I have to do all my training over again after I go back to the reserve, I think you will have reason for your hopes. You can be sure that I won't be so anxious to go again as I was the first time. Nobody, who has spent any time in France can honestly say that he wants to go back again.
We are having some real fall weather now and it only rains a little every other day now which is a relief from the "day in and day out" everlasting drizzle.
I am enclosing a couple of picture postcards of the place here.
Must close now hoping this find you all well. My arm is nearly all healed up and in another week or so it will likely be completely healed and as good as ever.
Love to all

 1) The Putney Hippodrome was built in 1906 and was a small, indoor theatre. It was demolished in 1975

This is part of the John Cushnie Collection. This is a collection of approximatly 98 letters from 1916 to 1918, and a diary with 220 entries from 1918. These letters and diary entries, were very gratiously provided by Anne Hales.