Letters from the Front

Private John Cushnie

Back with the reserves

Private Collection

Sunday, November 17, 1918

Transcribed by: Anne Hales

E Coy
4th Reserve Ba.
Witley Camp
Surrey Eng.

Dear Folks at Home:-

     This is Sunday again and as the “Y” seems to be the only respectable place around here that has a decent fire I am spending the afternoon in the writing room.
     We moved over to the reserve last Friday from the C.C.D. which has been broken up.  The casualties from the C.C.D. have all been put in a special company with our own N.C.O.s in charge of us.  There are only a few short parades a day and they seem to have decided to give us an easy time now that the war is over.  This, of course, is only reasonable because there would be no sense in drilling us to death at this stage of the game.  The parades are mostly for physical jerks(?), games and walks – just enough to keep us in good condition.
     Of course the burning question among the troops over here is – when are we going home?  I guess that will not be for quite a few months yet because I hear that the Canadians are going to supply garrisons for Germany which means that some of the casualties will probably have to go back to France.  I hope that this will not happen although it wouldn’t be so bad in France now that the fighting is all over.
     I saw Wat Bushlen here this morning.  He has been kicking around the Reserve ever since we landed in England, as he is unfit for France, but he is going to Canada sometime this week.  It certainly is a shame that he has been kept here so long.
     Leave has not opened up yet and I shall not be able to get my sick furlough until it does.  However I am quite content to wait as I shall probably get it all right.  
     I have not had any mail for about two weeks which is not surprising considering the number of times my address has been changing lately.  I will probably get a big batch one of these days when things get a little more settled down.
     There is not much to do around here except sit around the stove and try to keep warm.  How is the coal situation in Canada this winter?  It seems to be very short around here and about the warmest place these days is in bed.
     There is a big bunch of conscripts in the Reserve just now and they certainly don’t have an easy time on parade.  They are still sending drafts to France which seems a little foolish now, but I suppose that they want to keep the Canadian Corps up to its total strength.
     You had better tell Wells1 to get my skates sharpened up because I may be home in time for a skate this winter.  We have heard nothing definite about going home yet though so I guess we will just have to sit tight until we do.
     Must close now with love to all

 1) Wells is John's younger brother

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.