Search The Archive

Search form

Collection Search
Date: May 5th 1916

Reg. No. 436610 Pte. Herbert F. Ball M.G.S. 51st Battn. Bramshott Camp Hants Army P.O. London, England P.S. Hants is short for Hampshire. May 5th 1916 Dear Uncle Sam,- We have reached the camp all well and safe after our long journey. I think it will be a lot better here than it was in Sarcee last summer. There is not a tent in the whole place that I know of, and the camp is built on high and dry land, which is quite sandy. The camp is laid off in squares or blocks, and all the streets and roads through the camp, and country are all made of crushed stones, and rolled down hard and smooth like cement streets are, so I don't think the mud will bother us very much. The weather has been pretty good so far. The sheds or buildings here are about 20 ft. wide and 70 ft. long, with plenty of air and light, also electric lights. We left the boat and got right on to a train about noon on Friday and left for camp which we reached about half past twelve that night. Then we had about a mile and a half to march from the train to the camp, and one of the battalions had a good hot supper ready for us when we arrived. I had to laugh at the trains over here. The passenger cars are only about half the size and the freight cars are only about one-third the size of the cars out there, but they sure can go. Sometimes we were going over sixty miles an hour. I think the fields and country are very pretty and quite different from what I had seen before. This is the new Canadian camp which you were telling us about not long ago. It was only built last year and I think things are quite comfortable and up-to-date. There are several little towns or villages all around here within a mile or so. It is only about twelve miles to Aldershot where there is another large camp, and only about forty miles from London. We had a nice trip across the ocean, and it was new and interesting to quite a number of us. The weather was fine and the sea was not very rough. Sam and I felt pretty good all the way and did not get a bit sea-sick and we couldn't help laughing at lots of the boys who would run to the side and feed the fish. We were fed pretty good and the sea air made us good and hungry. We could see nothing but water for eight days and I thought the world must have been flooded. There was nothing to do so we had all the time to ourselves. We were in Halifax about twelve days waiting for the boat and nearly every day we would parade or march through different parts of the city and had passes from four until twelve every night if we wanted to, so we had a good chance to look over the old town. There was plenty of life there, but I didn't like the city very much. The streets are quite narrow and very poorly lighted. I did not see any country from Edmonton to Halifax that I liked any better than Alberta. Everything is quite green here and I suppose work has started on the land out there now, and I hope you are feeling better this spring. I am feeling alright and Sam is looking a lot better that he did when we left. We expect to get about seven days leave in a week or two and go to London. I have to close for this time, but I will write again when we come back from our holiday. Remember me to the folks at home and hope they are all well. Sam will write to you in a day or two. Well good bye for this time and I hope to hear from you soon. Well good bye and best love to you and all, Yours sincerely, Bert