April 8th 1918
Dear Mother & Dad,-
Here I am at Halifax at last, arrived at noon today. At present we are sitting in the cars waiting for further orders which seem rather slow in coming. 13 men from the 68th Battery [?] [?] have got the measles that Battery is quarantined [?] [?] they [?] quarantined the rest of the train on that account is not certain. They are at the rear end of the train, while our bunch are on the first two cars so maybe it won't affect us. It feels good to be in a civilized country again, the last couple of days we have been travelling through Quebec, which seems [?] like a foreign country than a part of Canada. We didn't get a very hearty reception at any part of Quebec although they weren't actually hostile they just stood and stared at us of course some of the people were patriotic and cheered us as we passed. We went for a route march through Three [?] which is quite a size place, and we enjoyed it as it is so different from the English towns. All the names on the stores are French and most of the [?] are in French. The houses and the town itself is different to [?] [?] used to all the [?] face right [?] the [?] you step tight out of the front door on to the sidewalk. The styles of the houses are different to ours too, seems to be the same style as they had a hundred years ago, and of course there are lots of Roman Catholic churches and [?] with priests in their fancy dress. Altogether it was very interesting. The [?] of a big [?] [?] in three Rivers was sure [?] he brought out a box of cigars and a big package of Player [?]
It must keep the people from building [?], they sure have some [?]. Little towns with about 20 or 30 houses have fine big stone churches although most of them were not so big. We passed dozens of places where they have a fine big church [?] [?] by a bunch of [?] little shacks. On Sunday morning we could see them coming from all over the [?] in sleighs to attend mass, they are certainly religious [?] [?] ?] christians I hear. We passed through Montreal and Ottawa at night with our blinds pulled down, they didn't want to take chances in having us stoned by the French Canadians. I would have liked to have seen the big bridges at Quebec, but I was asleep when we went over. The St. Lawrence is sure some river, the [?] all [?] up with broken up ice, I guess you know what that looks like I would have liked to have seen my native town but it wasn't to be. The province of Quebec is the most thickly populated of any part we have passed through all the land is fenced and cultivated a whole lot of it was covered with water from the overflow from the St. Lawrence.
We haven't seen anything much of Quebec Halifax except some of the waterfront. That must have been an awful explosions. We have seen quite a lot of buildings smashed absolutely to pieces as if a cyclone had struck them. There are several boats lying stranded on the shore.
Well are good weather has lasted the whole trip, the sky has been absolutely cloudless except for 3 or 4 [?] near Medicine Hats it snowed a little but since then we haven't seen a cloud bigger than my hat. They must have had a shole lot of snow in N.S. and N.B. this winter, in some parts the snow is still 4 or 5 feet deep but is thawing fast Last night was mighty cold but our car was fine and warm.
Last night we had a nice old [?] [?] the ymca [?] [?] with popular song anthem also [?] cards with sacred songs. We sat [?] and went through both cards [?] times and we all enjoyed it [?at], it must have lasted several hours.
Have you see Mrs. Novis yet, I didn't see any of them down at the boat. I guess Mrs. Sibbald and Meg have been [?] by now. I wrote [?] a p.c. I guess I have written to nearly all my friends now, though only postcards. How are you both keeping, I'll be anxious to get a letter from you, I don't suppose I'll hear a word till I get to the old country gee they sure [?] you for fruit over this side, bananas 80 [?]a doz, apples 5[?] each, oranges 3 for 25[?], and [?] 40[/] each. I'm not buying any except from the ymca man he sells 1st class apples 3 for 10[?] I guess I won't be able to write again [?] I get over in [?]
I met a friend of Novis' he is the Lieutenant in charge of the other artillery draft, he looked me up the other day and we had quite a talk together. He has been over to [?] and saw George during the [?] [?] [?] [?] [?] [?]He is a nice fellow, doesn't just in any airs, he was with George in the 5th Right at Esquimalt. He told me a lot about artillery work at the front, he says it is fine and not at all dangerous, or especially on the siege guns. I was asking him about be transferred to some other branch of the artillery, he said it was most certain we would stay with the heavier as they are forming several new batteries. We passed 4 trains loaded with Chinese going over to track there sure is a bunch of them, though maybe it was the same train we passed several times. We also passed a train load of returned soldiers in the Rockies and [?]
Well I must close now as we are moving again
Love from Walter