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226   DAYS OF PREPARATION

". . . It is a great comfort to know that our loved ones, so broken and suffering, have such kind friends when so far from home and their own dear ones. I am pleased to know you will still have a care for him and call on him when you can."

". . . It's a pleasure to know that some one visits them in their sickness and loneliness, especially when those dear to them are unable to do so."

One feels that no service is too small, no sacrifice too great, that brings solace to the heroic women who are silently bearing the heaviest burden of the war.

After the visitors' reports have been entered on the men's cards, letters are written to their "next-of-kin" in Canada. It can usually be arranged that one person continues to report on the same man—and often it is some one from his own town. These letters are no mere formal statement of the men's condition but are personal letters expressing the interest and sympathy of the writer. About 1,800 letters are written every week, but after the Battle of Vimy Ridge, where the Canadian casualties were unusually heavy, 1,076 letters were written in one day.

Every Canadian mail brings many letters of thanks from relatives, whose burden of anxiety has thus been lightened by news of their dear ones. A few short quotations may best show the heartfelt gratitude expressed in all of them.

". . . Your letter has taken a load off my mind and my heart is very grateful to you for your kindness. The prayer from my heart is that God will bless you in your good work."

Another mother writes :

"In answer to your several kind letters concerning my son, I wish to thank you very much. They have been a great source of comfort and have helped to make the load lighter in these, my trying hours, and I do not feel that I can express my appreciation to you for your work to me and mine. It seems now as if the only thing I


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