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Date: December 9th 1916

December 9, 1916

Dear Lettie

I have just received your letter tonight which you wrote on Nov. 22nd and I have been looking for that box of yours and have not got that box from the church yet. Mr. Grant got two boxes from home and he got the one from the church last night but I suppose they will all come at once. I think that picture of George is all right but it is pretty dark. You were asking if ever I got my picture taken. I have never had my picture taken since I left Canada and I haven't seen a camera here in France. I don't think you would like me for I have got so fat my pants won't button up the front at all. My tunic is size 39 and it is getting too tight for me.

Well I sent away a registered letter to you yesterday with two twos and one dollar bill making five in all and I sent George a small tin box with all my 134th badges and there was a silk handkerchief which I got from a fellow. He said it was no use to him and there was a few buttons from my old tunic and there was three pieces of French money, five, 10 and 50 centimes. The money is something the same as in Canada 100 centimes is a franc a Franc is 20 cents. I gave the canteen Sergeant 25 francs for that 5 dollars. I thought I might just as well send you that money as to have it in my pocket for I don't throw away my money like some of them do. I will be all right as long as I don't get hit with the German bullet or shell and then the money would be no use to me so I will send some off whenever I have any, and you can put it in the bank or use it for your own comfort and George. For there is no use of you wanting for anything for if ever I get back I will make up for all this but I tell you a man hasn't got a fighting chance for his life out here for the shell fire is terrible and I have had some pretty narrow escapes. I wish I could enclose some of the sounds we have sometimes. We have nothing but candles to burn for light when we are in our dugouts and the shock of the shells put out the candles. I forgot to say that there was a Catholic rosary in the box I sent to George. I found it in a dugout that the Germans had made. It was tied to a wooden cross with a piece of string. So write and let me know if you receive it all right. You were saying if I could send a piece of shell to George well I could get thousands of pieces but they won't let us send them. Have you received that money from father yet? I sent away a few of our Christmas cards. That Lieutenant Creighton is the same one as was with us in the 134th. We have a lot of fine officers. Most of them have rose from the ranks and our Corporal has won the military medal about three months ago.

Well Lettie this is Sunday the 10th and I have just received the box from the church and everything is in good condition. I have just wrote Mr. Kannawin a few lines and I received a box from George Desson tonight with some Scotch haggis, scones, cooked ham and oxo and a can of fruit Salto. So we're living pretty high tonight. I did not get to the church parade today. A few of us were working all fore-noon. Mr. Grant went away tonight for a few days to learn bombing. We're going back in the trenches in a couple of days and I hope we have good weather for it has been drizzling rain for a few days and it makes it so muddy and miserable. I will never forget the last time I went into the trenches there was a skull sticking out of the side of the trench and a couple of nights after I was moving some sand bags in the front trench and there was some poor fellow lying underneath with all his kit on but you have to get used to such things. For I won't be sorry when this war is all over for when you're out here so far away from home and see so many getting killed it makes you think when your turn is coming.

When you write tell me how everything is around the house and if the taps have had to be fixed. I have been quite busy cutting hair lately but I broke my clippers the other night and it was cutting a fellow's hair by the name of Tommy Atkins but I was not long without another pair for they gave me a dandy pair of clippers which belonged to the company. Well I think I've told you about all the news at present. Hoping you and George are well.

From Dave