Tuesday, June 11, 2013

18 February 1916 Somewhere in France

Dear Mother, Father and the rest,

I received your welcome letter of January 29 yesterday and was pleased to learn that everyone was okay. It surely is a funny winter for Ontario to be having. No snow and very mild weather like you reported in January. We have only had one snow flurry and it was all gone off the ground in less than half a day. It is raining more this month than the last and when we get past this, we have the rainy part of the season gone and no one will be sorry. I do not think it has been as bad this year as last, at any rate not as bad as I had imagined the winter weather would be out here. It is no doubt quite bad enough in the trenches. There has been quite a bit of scraping up a little north-east of us and a couple of our battalions were ordered up there as a reserve. They had only come back to rest too, after being in the trenches for five months and the trenches that the Canadians hold our about the worst on the British front. You see the country around here is so low that it is easily flooded and in the rainy weather it is quite a contract to drain it effectively.

Well I was quite surprised to learn that Bill had taken the Commission bug so suddenly. It will no doubt go through. I should have thought he would have waited until he got over here or at least have tried to get into some Canadian unit. I think he would like that much better than the Imperial Army. There are about a dozen of our boys going up tomorrow to parade before the Colonel for Commission. I don't know how they are going to get on, but if they are all successful in getting them, it will make quite a hole in our unit. I believe there are quite a few Canadian boys going after Commissions in the Imperial Army but I think they are sort of given the preference too.

If  Bill gets it okay he will be over here pretty soon. How long does he think it will be before he gets away. He will be attached to some of the Derby recruits I suppose unless he would get the chance of getting on a reserve unit that sends out reinforcements. He will be getting to England at the best time of year for training at any rate. I had a short letter from Mrs. Jeff's yesterday. She invited me to stay there if I am going to be in London on my leave and also Bill has an invitation as well. I am not sure that I'll stay in London when I go but I would like to stay for a few days. We get seven clear days in England and if I go to Scotland I will not have much time to stay in London. However all this is mere speculation for my number on the leave list is 191 and they are only at number five now. You can judge when I'll get mine from that. It is more than I can do if you can. They will no doubt increase the number going very shortly and as all the senior NCOs and officers who do not take numbers get away, there will be a quicker run on the numbers of Privates.

I'll write to Bill as soon as I can and ask him when he is expects to be in England. He will no doubt be writing me himself in the near future and telling me all his plans.

There seems to be more going on over there than there is here, for we hardly find enough interesting news to fill a letter and if it was not for the letters we have to answer, we would not be able to write anything. It is lights out now and so I'll be I'll have to ring off and get to bed. I'll finish this in the morning if I get time.

Yours lovingly,

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