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Date: November 12th 1916

Nov 12/16

Dear Hazel

I have just got back from church service and have just about time to write a letter. It is a grand morning, nice and warm but it is rather muddy outside so I don't think I will go away very far from camp today.

We were down at Godalming yesterday afternoon and evening and had a fine time. We wandered about the streets in the afternoon, had our supper at the "Ottawa Cafe" It is quite a swell place and is managed by a Canadian so we can get mostly Canadian eats. We went to the show at night and it was fairly good. It is fun to see the girls look at our knees. I don't feel at all bashful about mine altho I felt a little funny at first. There are some great sights for a stranger here in the hut. The fellows are all sitting around on their beds and there certainly are some funny positions.

I went down to get my photo taken yesterday but was a little too late so will have to go again. Mac MacPherson Corps Malone and I went together. There is a swell studio at Godalming and a nice girl takes down one's name and address. We always try to transact our business where there are a few girls.

Several of the 134 signallers got eats from home today and we are having a regular feed. Several are telling stories that aren't exactly nice so it is rather hard to centre my mind on this letter. I am afraid that isn't very complimentary to you but you must know how hard it is to write when someone is bothering you. Bobby Crowder wants to know if I am writing to my sweetheart and as I never tell lies (?) I had to tell him that I was.

Lee went away to the ranges yesterday and will be away for about ten days. He didn't seem to want to go very bad but we will all have to go soon. It would have been nicer if we could all have gone together but one has to get used to mixing with strange men.

After parade this morning we had a short inspection by two red caps from headquarters. The battn certainly look grand on church parade and we always have a crowd of people come to see us on parade. They are forming a fifth Can division here now and I expect we will be in it. We hear some awfully funny stories here about what we are going to do. Eric Graham came in the other night and said we were allowed a six weeks furlough to go home to Canada after we had been here three months. We all went to sleep after deciding to send home for the money next morning. We inquired about it next morning and found that there was nothing in it. We often hear that we will be in France before Xmas but we do not know whether we will be or not.

I just got a letter for Lee from Komoka dated Oct 26. I guess they will send it on to the ranges. I haven't had any mail for four or five days now so expect quite a lot tomorrow or Tuesday. Your letters always seem to come two at a time. Of course I don't object to that at all, I would like a dozen at once if that were possible but I guess I want too much of the good thing.

I suppose by the time you get this you will be getting ready for Xmas. We are lucky in one way as we do not have to depart from the ordinary routine of camp life. Some say we will get six days leave at Xmas but it all depends on where we are stationed. If we do get six days I guess I will go back to Edinburgh as that is the best place I know of over here. Of course if I get an invitation to go home with some of the fellows I will go but most of the fellows that I know have really no place to go too. I see I am starting on another page but I am not sure that I can fill it up. There is nothing very exciting happening around here. We take musketry in the forenoons and bayonet fighting and signals in the afternoon. We don't have to work so very hard altho some days it is pretty stiff. They are very strict about everyone being properly dressed etc on parade. On our route marches we have to be all fussed up so as to give a good impression on parade They are a very particular bunch all right.

Red Stuart has just a bunch of candy from someone so am preparing my mouth for a little. He may not pass it around but I think he will as he is right across the table from me. We are really a bunch of babies the way we stick around when anyone gets a parcel. Well Hazel I guess about all my news has run out. Red has just come across with some of his candy so I am happy now. It is good stuff too.

I hear from Mary that she is living with the girls at 292 Princess. She writes quite often and sends some dandy letters. I haven't heard from Joe at all and I don't think Lee has either. I wrote him two letters but if he won't answer them I don't think I will write any more. I am glad to know that he is likely to be married. He has been that way for quite a while hasn't he. I don't blame him a bit, I think I would do exactly the same thing myself if I were in his position.

Well I guess I will have to stop Dinner will go in about 10 minutes and as I didn't have any breakfast I will be the first for dinner if possible. I hope you are having a good time and are all well and happy Remember me to all of the girls. I must quit now or I will have to start another page.

With all kinds of love

Original Scans

Original Scans