Dear Mother & Dad,
As it is Friday today, we were given the afternoon off for playing various games. We get every Friday afternoon off for what they call a "sports parade" and it gives me an opportunity to write letters after it is over. We were all down at the beach today to play baseball, but as they had enough players, another fellow and I walked around the rocks at the water's edge looking for seashells, etc. When the tide is out, the beach is quite large and it makes quite a good sports ground. Afterward we lay around in the sand for awhile, and then walked back to our billet. The weather has been wonderful around here for the past three weeks. There has been no rain at all and the sun shines nearly every day. I thought the weather would be a lot different than it is, but they say that it is very unusual for the weather to be a fine as it is.
We had a lot of excitement here last night. I was sitting in a pub with another fellow when the air raid alarm went off. Pretty soon a terrific barrage of gun fire was sent up and I could see the enemy planes flying overhead. The sky just looked like the display you see at the Exhibition when the fireworks display is on, only this was on a much vaster scale. I saw one of the planes shot down in flames and go into the sea. It certainly was exciting to watch, but we had to keep under shelter as the shrapnel was coming down like rain on the streets. It's hard to imagine the terrific noise in an air raid until you have actually been in one.
Being outdoors all day marching and drilling etc. has certainly given my face a more outdoor look than it formerly had. For the first few weeks we found it pretty tough going, but now we are getting used to it. It is more or less to toughen us up a little, and it sure gives us an idea of what the infantry man has to put up with. I expect to leave next week and I'll be seeing Uncle Jim again.
On one of our marches the other day we stopped at a very old castle. It is called Starlight Castle, I believe, and it was built in the fourteenth century. Only the walls are left standing now, so of course it hardly looks like a castle at all. It was very interesting to see, though. Last Saturday afternoon I went to Dad's home town. I didn't leave till three o'clock, and as I wanted to be back again for supper, I didn't get to see where your old home was. It's very interesting seeing the country from the top of a double deck bus. You certainly get a good view from the top of these buses.
How is business these days? Are you very busy now that spring is coming? I hope you are writing regularly. I have only received two letters from you so far and they were mailed to Halifax. When you do write, don't forget to give me all the news and gossip on what's going on a home. I haven't very much more to talk about so I'll close for now, but I'll be writing an airmail letter in a few days. I suppose you will receive it before this one.
Your loving son,