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Date: July 16th 1917

4 Squadron R. F. C
B. E. F. France


Dear Father,

Just a line, as I have written Emily and as you suggested, I sent it to Mount Forest. I hope you have changed your mind at last minute and accompanied Mother and Emily.

This has been a glorious day. Bright and clear all day. I was in the air at 4.45 a.m. today, and have put in a few good hours. At six o'clock tonight when I thought I had finished for the day, I had to go up and do photography. It is, I suppose, the one job in the squadron most dreaded. We get up a fairly good height (8000 to 10000 feet) and then slide over and take our photographs. The Archie (enemy artillery for aircraft) are fairly accurate at that height, more so than at lesser heights. They were no exception tonight either. I thought they had me two or three times, but I managed to wiggle thru the 100 to 150 shells they sent up after me. The nearest shot was a bit of shell about twice size of a walnut, that went thru part of the lower plane, just touched my chin and went on up thru the top plane. Luckily I had nearly a day's growth of whiskers on, or it might have been more serious eh?

The summer seems to be slipping by fearfully quickly. I can scarcely realize that the summer is nearly half over. In another couple of months we will be beginning to get it a little easier. You would enjoy the getting up at 4 a.m. much more than I do. Personally it is the worst trial I have.


Did not have time to finish my letter last night. Some of the fellows came in and stayed talking until quite late.

Today has been glorious too. I did my job early and have had a rest all day. The Prince of Wales was here again today having a look around. Our General was here too and took the Prince up for a joy ride in one of our machines. He seemed to enjoy it greatly. The General is some pilot but I don't think he would go near the lines with his passenger.

I hope the crops in Canada are good this year. Everything will be needed I guess. The crops about here are looking very good indeed. I should think the main trouble would be the labour to get them off.

Must close now. I hope the new minister will be a success now that you have him. Have not heard from Alf for a couple of weeks, but I guess I really owe him a letter.

Lots of love and kindest regards to Miss Smith.

Loving son

P. S. Am feeling very fit. W. H. G.

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