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Date: December 26th 1916

Dec 26/16

Dear Hazel -

This is the day after Xmas so don't be surprised if there are several blunders because I am not exactly in an angelic state of mind. We had a splendid Xmas and all the boys enjoyed it immensely especially the dinner which was very good - for the army.

All our parades we suspended Sat noon and we had nothing to do until this morning. Quite a few got passes and left camp but I stayed here - I hate to leave this camp because I love it so much etc McAlpine and I went to Godalming Sat and had a fine time. We went to church Sunday morning and heard a splendid Xmas sermon by our Chaplain. He is a fine speaker and is very popular with the men. We went to Godalming in the afternoon and had Xmas dinner at the Ottawa Cafe. There are some nice waiters there hence the dinner. We went to a spledid concert at night in the borough hall. The talent all comes down from London and they certainly provide great stuff. We arose about 10 Am on Xmas day and got all fussed up for dinner. We had to be all dolled up as several staff officers were expected. Well they came and we had to stand at attention while each one delivered speeches. We had for dinner - roast pork & sausage. mashed potatoes, creamed carrots peas and cabbage - Mince pie & coffee, Plum pudding and cigars apples. Everything was well cooked and we had a pretty good time (The cigars and apples excepted)

After we had recovered from the effects of overeating Mac & I went down to Godalming to the show which was provided by the Mayor. He was all fussed up in his official robes in our honour and certainly looked cute - nix. He assured us in his opening remarks that he was not Father Time altho he looked enough like that person. The concert was good and we had eats afterwards and then proceeded to celebrate "in the usual manner. To cut a long story short we didn't get so very tight and managed to squeeze by the RMP's at 12 O'clock. When we got home we found that our beds had been nailed together and all our blankets were sewn up so we had quite a time getting into bed as we couldn't very well turn on the lights.

This morning we started work again but will not settle down until after New Years. I may get a pass to Scotland for six days but I am not sure yet. Our officer told us today that we would all be in France inside of two weeks but we are not taking it seriously. Nothing would please us more as we have absolutely no chance of promotion here and there is some chance in France.

The Allies are certainly going these days and with the Germans showing signs of weakness it may be that this will be the last War Xmas. We all hope it will be but every one over here makes it plain that the United States will have no say when peace terms are discussed. They don't take Wilson seriously at all and his influence over here is practically nil.

We were all discussing yesterday what we would do after the war and it was certainly amusing to hear some of the plans that the fellows are making. If we get thru all right a few of us have some pretty good positions in view altho they may not appeal to most fellows. Nearly all want to go back to Canada but few intend to stay there. I think it would be almost impossible to settle down there after being a soldier for a considerable time and the Far East has more than a few attractions. Besides there are splendid appointments there.

Well Hazel dear - I guess if we get used pretty roughly in France we will be tickled to death to go home but if I was discharged right now I certainly would not go back.

Well I guess you will think this a very rambling letter but I feel too lazy to think tonight so am writing my thoughts. I must write a letter home as I haven't written one to Mother for over a week. There is a minstrel show at the Y tonight and I must go to it.

Well my dear girl I can't think of anything else to write. We may be leaving here soon in fact I think we will not be here much longer - I hope not.

With love

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