Letters from the Front

Private John Cushnie

"all over but the shouting"

Private Collection

Tuesday, November 12, 1918

Transcribed by: Anne Hales

Witley Camp
Surrey Camp

Dear folks at Home:-
      Well at last it is all over but the shouting and this time it is true.  We heard the good news yesterday morning and could hardly believe it at first but I guess it is true all right.
     I am back in khaki again and have been here nearly a week.  This is the First Canadian Command Depot where all casualties are sent before going back to the reserves.  All we do here is physical training and route marches and we are supposed to get toughened up here.
     Owing to the epidemic of the “flu” up in London I was not given any sick leave which every casualty is entitled to but I expect to get it now in a few days as the “flu” has died down very well1.
     I have been here a week today and have met dozens of old friends most of whom were in the 153rd Battalion.  I think about 75% of the 153rd must be casualties by all reports and many of them have been killed.  Some of the Mt. Forest boys who are here – Ira Morrison , Ira Campbell , Joe Noswan, Nichols, Ivy McFadyn.
     We were all pretty sure that the armistice would be signed but it was a great relief when at last it came out to be true.  The boys in France will surely be tickled to death.  Our next worry is  - when are we going to get home.  I suppose it will be several months yet as the unfit men will be sent home first.  In the meantime I am planning to take a course at the Khaki University which is here.  I guess I am pretty rusty in some things and will need some brushing up.  I think I will start just as soon as I come back from leave.
     It is certainly hard getting down to army life again after being in hospital two months.  I suppose I will just nicely get settled down to it when I go on leave and will have to get broken in again when I come back.
     This is a much nicer camp than Bramshott although I haven’t been out and around much to see it yet.  I sent you the wrong address last time I wrote as I expected to be moved to Bramshott but the 4th Reserve moved down here last summer and so I was sent here.
     Well I must close for now.  I haven’t received any mail for a couple of weeks but there is such a mix up in the Post Office here owing to the large number of casualties coming in.
Love to all

Don’t forget to put my battalion on the address.  Since writing this I have heard that the C.C.D. is going to be demobilized in a day or so and that we are going to our reserves so please write to address below.
#928829 Sig. C.. 1st Can. Ba.
4th Reserve Ba
Witley Camp. Surrey

1) Of course the Spanish Influenza pandemic extended to the end of 1920, killing between 20 and 50 million people

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.