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Date: February 23rd 1917

Feb 23/17

Dear Hazel -

It is raining like the deuce tonight and I feel just like writing to you. I hope you will pardon the pencil but my pen is on the rocks.

I am lying on my bunk and writing by the light of a candle as we have no electric since the big fire. I just thought that perhaps you would be interested if I wrote a few lines about each one of the boys in the hut so here goes. Kelly Annett comes from Carrs and is a fine fellow - worked in Detroit previous to enlisting Spike Thompson comes from Belmont but attended SPS Toronto and is a good head. Freddie Aiken my bed mate is a railroad man and loves to tell of his "road experiences - I don't care very much for him but he [?] me good.

Bubbie Bryson is a scotch kid- home at Springbank - very quiet and honest as anyone could possibly be.

Brig McAndless hails from Ilderton - is fat and lazy - used to attend collegiate in London pretty good head.

Bill Henderson - son of a Pres preacher in London - attended Western U and is a fine fellow altho lazy. Morley Calling - a methodist minister and crooked as the very d- and has lots of nerve Reads every night and leads the Lord's prayer before we retire.

Mac Macpherson - London very fat and quick tempered also a Western U man - very proper etc Shorty Crowder - a cocky little fellow and full of life - good head. F.R. Morton - ex telephone expert and is funny as anything. He is married and has wife over here at present. we sometimes feel jealous of him.

McAlpine called Mickelpin for short is related to me and we are good chums. He is also very funny but is a good signaller Red Stuart - a crazy nut who has also attended collegiate. He raises the roof every night before returning and is never still. Has red hair of course. Writes to Ada Taylor quite regularly.

Corps Malone our lance jack is a nice little fellow and is fairly quiet.

Art Huddleston a very tall and husky gent - is rather quiet and familiarly called "sky" by red.

Tom Tomlinson hails from Simcoe - gets lots of good tobacco from his father in the States so is a pretty good friend of mine.

That's what we call our bunch. The rest are all 134th sigs and some are fairly decent. Andrew Stewart - a very fat scotchman and very tight also quite learned.

Arthur Armstrong about the same as Andrew altho not so fat. Corp Luce a guy who thinks he is someone but who isn't.

Metcalfe - a very lanky individual and is called the Highlander about 16 yrs old.

Yuk Yuk Wilson so called because of his peculiar laugh. He comes from Staynor and is a good head.

Corp Aiken - a ignorant man whom we all despise. In civic life I don't imagine any of us would look at him but here he is over us and we have to.

Percy Shelly - Berlin - father is a Baptist deacon but his son doesn't take after him at all He is quite a gambler.

Bissett also Berlin is a fine fellow and is good looking, uses a pillow as a bustle when he has on the kilts.

John Willie - I can't think of his last name is a crazy [?] and worked on the railroad Macphee a real Scottie and a grand kid, He and I chum together a lot. He was born in Scotland

Jack Walker - a former Sunday School artist who is by no means one now.

Nigger Jim Edwards used to be a guard at the central prison. A rough neck and is crooked too.

Blakeney a former McMaster student but he is a regular theif and hardly ever bathes.

Well that is about the bunch that I live with from day to day. There are lots of grand fellows and lots of other kind too. I guess I don't need to describe myself as you know pretty near all that there is to know about me. Sometimes I am good humored and quite often not.

I love a certain young lady in Canada and think of here very very often and lots of times dream of her. It is almost cruel to wake up out of a dream like that and find yourself in these old huts However we are quite a happy crowd and try to forget the pleasures and good times are missing. This war will not last forever and it wont be very long until we will either be back in Canada or a casualty in France - we all expect the former and do not worry at all These Spring days one has a pretty hard job to keep from being a little homesick but the jolly company helps one a whole lot. Well Hazel this is an awful long epistle and is not nearly as interesting as I thought I could make it. I will write you again tomorrow or Sunday. Some of the fellows are gambling, some reading - singing, talking and smoking and several asleep. I was at the dentist today and got out of a route march. I think I will go again tomorrow.

There is a great temptation to play old soldier here - if we were likely to go to France soon we wouldn't do it but there is absolutely no use doing the same thing over and over to no purpose whatever. Well my dear girl I would give almost anything to be with you just for tonight but I guess I will have to wait for a while yet possibly a year or more. I hope it won't be so long as the last six months have been. With loads and loads of love for you dear.


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