Jan 23, 1919
Received your letter tonight dated Dec 30. You asked how many men were in a division. There are about 20,000. 3 brigades of infantry, 2 brigades of artillery and the ammtn column. The column is about the most dangerous as you are in the open going up with ammtn. When I first came to France I was with the column for a week and was then sent on a wireless course that was at Cambrai and I rejoined them at Valencienne when my training was finished. By the way I've got a certificate from the signal school that I'm a qualified wireless operator with a good knowledge of general electricity & theory. Perhaps I'll send it home registered sometime.
You don't seem to comprehend the term "moke". Well in the case of one of mine it is an animal possession of about 10 devils and deliciously free with his hind legs. In other words, it is a mule. My other moke though is a good animal. He is the one I ride when I'm driving the team. The fellows in the hospital were never in France or England or they would understand what "moke" meant.
I wrote you about money didn't I? Send it registered to the Army Post Office and mark it C.F.A. also send it in French notes. Don't send it in money order or cheque as we have to get it countersigned and mail it to England and they send the money out to us and it takes about a month.
Perhaps I'll be home next Xmas. At the rate were moving I won't. But I have an idea that we'll go to Blighty as soon as they are getting our mules ready to turn them over to Ordinance. Once I get in England I will need some money I think.
You mentioned that Belgium has suffered so much in the war. In my opinion it is not Belgium but France that has suffered. Here in Belgium you find men of all ages and Belgium has carried on for 4 years just as if there was no war at all. She has repaired all the damage done but the Huns in 1914. She has lost none of her men. True, in '14 there were some awful crimes committed but in France they have had 4 years of that. Some of the Belgian civilians were deported to work for the Germans but from what I know of the peasants I think a lot went willingly enough. Now in France, the whole battle area has been totally devastated and people driven from their homes for 4 years. And in any part of France you cannot find a single civilian but old men, boys, and cripples. In England there were plenty of civilians but in France, none. Of course the part of Belgium around Ypres has suffered like France, but the centre of Belgium shifted to German rule without much of a jolt, at least as far as the peasant classes are concerned and they compost the large part of the population. In our travels around Belgium we have been in several localities which were hostile to us. In my opinion it is France that has [?] the most and suffered most in this war. The peasants have been issued with food rations for four years sent for in America and have been raising their crops besides. Now please don't tell everybody what I've written for I may be totally wrong. These are just the impressions I've got from going from one part of Belgium to another and I am not the only one of us who has gathered like impressions.
I've received both of Madges boxes.
Well I'll have to close now, I expect Ive written too much not, haven't I.