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Date: January 2nd 1918


Jan 2nd 1918

Dear Dad:-

Still at the old buzzing stuff and am feeling even more fed up than before as we've shifted from comfortable billets to cold Nissen huts. We had an exam written, and reading lamp, flapper, flag, and buzzer, the other day and to my surprise and honor I came out top with 99% average! Nothing doing, however, as I want to fail and get back to the battery as I'd hate to be a signals officer.

We went out this morning and did flag drill then read flag and flapper till noon. In the afternoon we read buzzer and lamp and it sure is cold in the snow.

There are lots of Boche prisoners working? around here putting up more huts and also putting in lots of time. I wish I could trade with them. It's funny but the farther from shells you get, the more you kick.

None of my mail has turned up for the last 2 weeks but I expect lots when it does as there's lots coming to me. We have about 4 inches of snow now and the snowballing still keeps up.

The other fellows are all good heads except two. One is a little runt awfully full of himself and never lets you forget he's there. The other is a mutt only out 3 weeks and 32. He says he wouldn't have come then unless he'd been made so we spend our odd moments telling him a few home truths about himself.

I went down to the next village last Sunday afternoon and saw the Canadians on the signal course there. By the way that fellow's name from Ottawa is Adams. We used to call him Dornie Adams that's where I got mixed. We had a good cheery time and I learnt a lot of new slang and told them a few also.

The Expeditionary Force Canteen run the messing for us at 4 francs a day and do us quite well too. It beats me the way the bums on it kick at everything. None of them have ever heard a gun and still they think they have a kick coming because they have to sleep in a Nissen Hut.

I suppose I'd better tell you what a flapper is. It's not the young female variety but a red square of canvas with a sliding center which shows white underneath. When the white just shows for a short time it's a dot, a little longer and it's a dash. It's a fierce thing to see in the snow and after a few minutes you can hardly see it at all. I like the flag best, then the buzzer, then the lamp and flapper. I got 100 on flag, 99 on buzzer (1 letter wrong) 98 on lamp and 96 on flapper. Then I got 97 on written exam.

There's nothing to do but look forward to the next meal and bed. I made a bed out of some stolen wood and sand bags so I'm all right.
I wish the battery would come down as I want to get my extra kit which was left up at the guns. I've only one pair of boots and somebody else's blankets.

Well, I guess you've heard enough. Write soon. Love to all.