Letter to Rev. R.M. Laporte Payne 29 Dec 1915

Letter to Rev. R.M. Laporte Payne 29 Dec 1915


On embossed crested notepaper of 75th Overseas Canadian Battalion


Dec 29th 1915

Bugler R.H. Elliott

1st Platoon #138567

A Company

75th Battalion C.E.F.

Exhibition Camp

Toronto Ont


Mr. Laporte Payne,


Dear Sir,


I received your letter of the 9th and also your letter and testament of the 15th and thank you for them.


I was just going to answer your letter of the 9th when I got the other one, I had it already wrote and was going to post it tonight, so am writing this to express my thanks for finding my Aunt and also for sending the testament.  I am sorry you could not find my mother at 8 Finchley Park, if she has moved into Kentish Town again, you may be able to get some information about her at 71 Warden Road, Kentish Town, because she used to live there before she went to Finchley Park, but I daresay my Aunt knows where she is although you didn’t mention it in your letter.


Now that you have found one of my Aunts for me, I am anxious to get a letter from her and will be watching the mails every day until I get one.


I am very much pleased with the testament you sent me, and will carry it in my pocket all the time, I also promise that I will try and read a portion of it every day. I have filled in the front page of it now and hope some day that I will be able to fill in the last page.


I am sorry to say that I can’t with a clear conscience fill in the last page, but I was up to a Mission a few Sundays ago and after the meeting was over, the speaker came up to me and asked me if I was saved and I said no, well he talked to me for over an hour and yet after all that I couldn’t say yes.


I think it is this way I might have promised that speaker I would believe in the Lord, and yet my own conscience told me that as soon as I got away and came into barracks I would forget all about it and be just as bad as ever, if you were around sometimes and heard me swear and do things I know I shouldn’t do, you would say I was bad.


Before I wrote to you I never had any interested in anybody, I just worked and spent the time as well as I could. My intentions were to learn to run automobiles and motorboats and then go into the United States and run a launch for some wealthy man down there and just travel around, remaining single and making no friends.


I have been in this country nearly eight years and haven’t made a friend until I joined the Army six months ago, before then I worked all the time on farms and didn’t have time to think about Mother or any of my relatives.


But since I joined I have nothing to do at nights and nowhere to go it has made me think of them.


Well Mr Payne I don’t know why I have told you all this, but your letters seem to be so nice and yet they are not dry like ministers generally do write, that they seem to convince me, that I ought to join Christ’s Army too.


You can imagine how I feel though in this big country without friends or anybody to confide my troubles, nowhere to go when I am not working, it seems to make me sober and morose, I have never had the chance to play, like other boys have, always having to work. I feel if I had my mother or some of my relatives to confide in I would lead a better life.


I think I will have to close now as I have not any more room but I would liked to have said more. Thanking you for your kindness in looking up my relatives.  I remain


Gratefully yours


Robert Elliott

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