Dear Hazel -
I rec'd a letter from you a few days ago but this is my first chance to write for a whole week so I will have to tell you about all the hard work we have been doing. In the first place we have marched in heavy marching order over 100 miles this week and are still going strong. We were on the train all ready to go away one morning but the War Office apparently changed its mind and sent us back here again. I guess we are here for duration all right. It seems impossible for us to get away from here. It cant be that we aren't sufficiently trained or tough enough for we are far better trained and equipped than any division yet and I guess we are just as able to stand hard work as any of them.
I'll bet you would have a big time with Betty while she was at your place. She is a cute kid alright - at least she must be from the accounts you give of her. Sorry to hear that Nellie hasn't been well - I hope she will be well again by now. I heard some time ago that Winnie Fonger was going to be married. I wish I had been somewhere around just to tease her a little. Gee she used to get mad at me. She and Mel will make a splendid couple - they are both so fat. So Mabel Mason is married too. She used to be rather cute but I suppose she will soon change as married life seems to have that effect on most girls. I saw in the Strathroy "Age" that your schools had been closed on account of measles. I suppose you will be having lots of dandy car rides now. The roads should be good for motoring by this time. We have lots of car rides over here but we use bicycles more than anything as we have them issued to us. I didn't quite understand what you meant about Lucy Leitch - I don't think that she and I were ever on very intimate terms. So Ralph and Clarence Robinson have enlisted in the Aviation corps! That is a good branch of the service especially if one doesn't value his life very highly. I suppose they will qualify as pilots or observers. Anything but either of those is rotten in the flying corps. I think if I ever go back I will either try for an observation officer or a job in the Canada Signals as I like the signalling fine. We have had a lot of aeroplane contact work and I don't think it would take long to qualify. Of course it is necessary to get back first but of course we all think we are. We came pretty near going over to the states to help recruiting if conscription hadn't passed over there. Our battalion was picked from all the Can troops in England and we sure would have had a jake time. How ever I guess we didn't enlist to have a good time but we are having one just the same. The weather is perfect over here now it couldn't be nicer anywhere. The worst of it is that we have to work so hard in the daytime that we don't half enjoy the evenings. There is a fairly good ice-cream place in tin-town but it isn't nearly as good as Canada. Red Stuart and I eat about 3/ worth every day. If we ever land back in London I feel sorry for the guys that work in Boomers.
We don't have to put stamps on our letters now so don't think that I am getting too tight to but stamps. You see we are supposed to be on active service and the P.O authorities suddenly woke up to the fact. We have our divisional colours now and they look fairly good. We wear them on both sleeves and ours are green and purple. They are something like this [diagram]. The purple stands for the fift division and the green for our brigade. The semicircle stands for the second battn in the brigade. They are fine, in a way as you can easily tell what outfit a man belongs to.
I am sure this must be a peculiar letter as I have been talking and writing and smoking for about two hours and have had my thoughts rather badly mixed. There is nothing new to write about only hard work all the time. Well must close
With Lots of Love