[Note at top] I am hurrying off as Mrs. Logie has asked me to come and have a cup of tea with her.W9126 TO REV. CALVIN MCQUESTEN, B.A. from his mother, Mary Baker McQuesten
Mar 12 1915 [approximate date]
To: Calvin McQuesten 'The Manse' Buckingham, Quebec
From: 'Whitehern' Hamilton
My dearest Calvin,
I was glad to receive your letter at noon to-day. This has been a very busy week with us. Miss Honeycomb has been here and Hilda goes down to Toronto this afternoon to pay Mary Taylor a little visit.
Yesterday afternoon Edna and I drove up to see poor Mrs. Colquhoun. She is in great trouble about Gourlay and has very little hope of him. But it seems to me, if he had been killed, they would have found him by this time. It is reported that the Germans who met our men were dressed in British uniform and it was at night and Mrs. C. thinks he would go forward to meet them and he would be beaten down. Just before he went out from the trench, their Major (Fitzgerald) just put his head out and was shot. I still hope he is a prisoner but if he is wounded, amongst the Germans, he will have little chance. They seem to be lost to all sense of decency, and are not even human, just fiends.
E. and I enjoyed our drive in a Brougham, very much indeed, such a lovely day. Tom was away at Sarnia from Saturday till Tuesday; heard a very fine preacher at the church. Paterson by name, but I do not know who it is. At present he is very busy, fighting away with Controllers &c. about the Railway, the matter comes up at Ottawa next week. The papers give us no help at all, the Herald and Times throw cold water on depressing the hacks by all the time talking about the cost, and no one seems to take the slightest interest in the matter, and one would judge from the papers that only the South-West residents are interested. If they follow the Railways proposal of elevating crossings, MacNab, Charles, Hughson Sts. are to be closed, a high wall created in front of church &c. Of course this is the very worst time to propose any large expenditure for any purpose and it is extraordinary how little interest any one takes in anything which does not concern themselves.
Well, Calvin about your holidays, the summer certainly is the time for them. Hamilton is not a very good place for holiday. You like to go where there is water. You will be at home part of the time whilst we are there. You ought to take a month, two weeks is not enough, and I can help you, if you have not enough saved up. I do not [sic] where to suggest your going, but perhaps you hear of places down East. If you leave your holiday till middle of summer you will have a better reason for requiring a month's rest.
The war is going on at a terrible rate, I dread the Spring. We were relieved to hear from Mrs. Leslie on Tuesday that a cable message told of Norman's recovery; on Saturday he was reported dead. This meningitis in the camps at Toronto is a terrible thing, they do not like to move the troops, until it has ceased. St. Paul's gave a supper and entertainment to 120 of the men, who are training here, they said Gordon Weir made a fine speech. Mrs. Colquhoun told me she spent a day with Gourlay at Ottawa and took him the Bible, his great grand-father carried through the Peninsula War and at Waterloo; he lead three forlorn hopes in one night, and in the fly leaves of the Bible were written the names and dates of each battle. Gourlay brought 300 men with him from the West; he had left the Bank there after two years and been doing very well for himself. Will tell you about I.J. Buchanan's death but you must not mention it when writing me, greatly worried with business matters, he put an end to his own life. So sad! Glad you are feeling so well, but be careful. With much love from all.
Your loving mother