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Date: November 15th 1916

Nov 15/16

Dear Hazel -

Rec'd a letter from you today and hope for another tonight as I haven't had any Can. Mail for about a week. Am delighted to hear that they had such successful dances at Komoka and that you all had a good time. I wish I had been there to enjoy them. I don't think that I will be able to dance at all when I get back as I have forgotten the little that I once knew and we don't have any dances here just the ones we have among ourselves. Well so much for dancing.

We expect to go to the ranges at Aldershott on Sat the 18th so you may not hear so often from me for a while. I think that we will have to work too hard there and will not have any time to write letters. We put in good long days now and work fairly hard, a whole lot harder than I ever worked at home this time of the year. Our bayonet fighting is the worst and the Highlanders make a specialty of the bayonet. We have got it down pretty good and our instructors tell us that they would put us up against a superior number of Germans any day. It is hard work and we work most of the day at it. We were all pretty tired the first few days but I can throw a rifle & bayonet around all day now and not get tired.

I haven't heard from Lee since he went to the ranges but expect a card or something tonight. We will be going to different ranges to him so I will not see him for three weeks. I really don't feel badly about it at all. The fellows here are arguing again. We are the worst bunch for chewing you ever saw. We had a big scrap tonight after parade and Scotty McPherson had a front tooth knocked out. Rather unfortunate too as he was going to get his picture taken this week. I guess we wont get them now until it is too late to send them home for Xmas. The bunch here are trying to sing and are failing completely. It is almost impossible to write here. The hut on our left contains the pipe band and you can imagine the harmony. The way they practice - one at a time gets outside and parades up and down between the huts and plays his little tune. As there are about 30 pipers can you imagine we get lots of music (?)

I understand we are now in the 5th Can division and will go to the Front as a division. I see by the papers that the Hon Sam has retired. He should have done that long ago. I guess he was a wise old guy to quit when he did tho or he would have got in wrong over in this country.

This letter contains almost every thing I can think about not just exactly the kind a fellow should write to his "best girl" pardon the expression but it is the one commonly used here to designate the one that a soldier loves best. I am afraid to continue in that tone because you might think that I was getting slushy. I know a soldier should not be afraid but there are lots of things worse than German lead or steel. I think perhaps I have got a little braver since I came here - the work we have to do gives me quite a lot of confidence. I know I used to be an awful coward when I was a kid and perhaps in a way I am one yet. Not that I am afraid of physical strength, it isn't that but the moral part is what counts. I am not very good at explaining what I would like to say so I guess I had stop. I have just been telling Bill Henderson a great line of dope about what we will have to do in France when we get there. I don't know much about it myself but fill in the details from my fertile (?) mind. I observe that I have started on another page - I know I shouldn't do it but it was done before I saw it so you will have to pardon me - I will promise never to repeat.

Bill George & I went to the show last night and afterwards dined at the "Bungalow" a very nice joint where there are some very nice girls. The show was fine. We all smoke at the shows in this country and usually wear our hats as our Glengarrys do not obstruct the View at all. The girls at the Bungalow are crazy over our kilts and fall over themselves to get to wait on us. I don't know what the attraction is but I think I know.

Ted Graham is reading parts of a love letter and it sounds rather crazy but I can't keep from listening.

Today was a grand day nice and warm. We didn't do much all forenoon but put in a good stiff afternoon. I am sticking around the hut tonight waiting for the mail which should soon be here.

Well Hazel this is a terrible long letter for me to write to you. I hope you will have enough patience to read it at all thru. I may write again before the mail tomorrow ie if I get a letter from you tonight. Lee and I are both feeling fine and happy as possible under the circumstances. I always long for a letter from you Hazel so be sure and keep on writing just as often as you have been.

With Love

Original Scans

Original Scans