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Date: April 12th 1916

April 12th 1916
My dear old Ray,

Your interesting letter sent on from home reached me yesterday after taking rather a long time on the way. I was delighted to see your old fist again and hear all the news. What a trying winter it must have been, I hope the spring and summer will make up for it in some degree. I am glad you were able to find a buyer for some of the calves. By the bye how did the lump go on the bull's jaw? We have just been having eight days in a rest camp after a strenuous time in the trenches, which you would doubtless read about in letters sent on from home. Tomorrow we return once more to the firing line. This is quite a lively front just here and one never knows what to expect. The papers seem to speak as though Kaiser Bill was going to turn his attention to another dash for Calais, sweeping the Canadian rabble aside en route. Hop to it, William! I have been seeing quite a lot of Bill since reaching this camp. He seems well and jolly. He gave me a message from Grace which was very much to the point. As soon as I sent the letter off it flashed across me that I had put Campbell Lake P.O. on the address in a fit of absent mindedness, perhaps induced by a passing Jack Johnson, who can tell!! However knowing her fame as a producer of giant vegetables in the neighbourhood, I felt no uneasiness whatever. I often feel like writing to you or Elisabeth, but I know how they would miss a letter at home, and I take it they send mine on or copies of them. My correspondence is fairly heavy in this country. You have probably heard that I correspond with a fair maid at Ealing. It is rather funny as we only met about three times at Folkestone before I left. She is awfully good in writing and sending me things. In the last letter she said they were all going to Australia après la guerre, that is where they came from many years ago. Ronald went home to take up his commission two days ago. I think he was a very glad lad. The trenches around here are a very grave yard they have been fought over so often. It does not do to stir up the ground anywhere and the smell is very unpleasant. Alberta will look very clean and fresh when we get back to it. Thanks very much for sending the body belt. I hope you are all well. Don't overwork yourself old man. I'll be back to give you a hand before spring I expect. Remember me to Grace and Bertie and Wilson and Liz. With much love to yourself, Elisabeth and your little son.

Ever your affectionate brother