Sunday, July 3, 2016

14 July 1916 France

Dear Folks,

This is Friday afternoon and I have a few minutes in which I can write. When things get running nicely there is more spare time for us and I can generally get a couple of hours spare time in the afternoons to go for a walk or write.

It has been rather damp and rainy most of the week but looks like clearing up today.

I was away on a long tramp day before yesterday and the country over here certainly can grow things. Everywhere you look hop poles are sticking up into the air and the vines are reaching the tips of the poles and they have hop patches stuck in every little hole you could find. They grow lots of beans out here too, and they are sown as thickly as field peas and grow about 3 feet high. they have been in blossom for about a week now and look fine.

There has not been anything doing of much importance on this front since we came back here and we do not handle any wounded. We are not in very close touch with the front line at present. We do not hear very much more about the big advance down south than we get in the papers. Of course, there are lots of rumours floating about, but it is not often that they are confirmed.

Do you remember me speaking about Gilmer in my letters? he was with us at Maple Copse and was wounded (slightly) up there. He left us shortly afterwards to take out a commission and we heard from him the other day saying that he was down in the fighting on the Somme and expected to go into action any day. His home is in Attwood (Ontario) and he is a 3rd year Med. student.

One other of our boys left for a commission to England and was only away two weeks, mostly a vacation to Scotland when he came back attached to a Battalion of the 2nd division. It was a surprise to him to get going away for he had no intimation of it as it had been worked from the other end. it is very difficult to get a commission in the Canadian Army now (that is from the ranks out here). In a letter from Bill the other day, he said he expected to get a commission in the Canadian Army after all. It will be a good deal nicer than being in the Imperial's (British Army) anyway.

I was glad Maude got up home to help during Norma's exams. How is Gracie? (cousin) I guess she would be having a whale of a time up in the country. So Aunt Em (Emma Ruxton Watson from Michigan ) is coming over in August. Aren't you going any place yourself, mother? You certainly need a rest and I'd try my best to get away someplace for a few weeks.

Has Vern decided to go into banking? I think a little while longer at school would be better until he knows himself what he wants to do.

I got Mae's letter too and I can make it out alright but I cannot answer it like that. Too big a chance. It is better to say anything right out. How were Norma's exams? Hope she made out alright.

Well, it is time for my afternoon medicines so I'll ring off and get this away. I had a parcel from Zion Church and one from some other patriotic League in Toronto from a Mrs. Carmichile I think. I have the address somewhere and wil write them. i have no trouble getting rid of sox etc. while I am in the hospital as there is always someone who is glad to get them. Hope everyone keeps well.



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