Saunton Sands, Devonshire, England,
July 11th, 1915.
It is some time since you have heard from me. It is because I have little to write about, being as you know, far from the booming guns.
I am glad to say that I am fit for duty again and reported at Shornecliffe nearly two weeks ago. The Senior Chaplain has permitted me to rejoin my family at the sea-side to get thoroughly fit for the strain of the autumn and winter campaign. I will likely return to France early in August.
While at Shornecliffe I had the very great pleasure of visiting the 40th Contingent in the 21st Battalion. I regret to say, however, that though I went three times, I was unfortunate in finding few of them about. They were away drilling or on other duties. I had better success when I visited Col. Odell and his Battery boys. I found them encamped on the very best camping around in the district. They, without a single exception, looked fit and happy. Col. Odell is very proud of his battery and might well be. He certainly has a chance to make good with such a fine lot of material and I mistake my guess if he does not do so if ever he gets into a tight comer. I was given the privilege of addressing the Battery and giving them a leaf out of my experience in France. It was an eager and hungry crowd that hung up on my words, when I told them that more than ever I felt that I had often preached in old Cobourg from which so many of them came, VIZ:- 'the imperishable value of the religion of Jesus Christ,' the nearer the men come to their great time of resting and trial, the more likely are they to feel their need of Christ and to place a higher and still higher value upon His power and willingness to help. It was a real joy to get a chance of speaking privately with a few of the boys and encouraging them.
After having lunch with the officers, Sergeant Jack Burnett took me across the fields to where Fred Lowe was encamped with a battery from Brantford. Fred expressed a very natural desire to get transferred to the Heavy Battery where he could be with the Cobourg boys. I interviewed his Colonel and expect soon to hear that the transfer has been granted.
I find that Cobourg people are very clannish out here and if the old town is not well known it is not for lack of advertising on the part of her soldier sons. Parents can feel assured that whenever anyone of our boys is in need of a friend their will be scores of Cobourgers at hand to help. My next letter to you will likely be written from behind the trenches early in August.
With best wishes, I am,
Yours very sincerely,