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Date: May 21st 1915
John William Law

SS Scandinavian May 21, 1915 My Dear Mother, This beautiful trip is almost over [?] tomorrow [?] two British torpedo destroyers, just came along, one on each side, an hour or two ago, and we all have a feeling of perfect safety now. We left Montreal, as you probably know on Thursday about 11:15 AM, we were Marched from the train right onto the boat. There was a fair crowd at the dock to see us off and one girl got so excited that she missed her footing and fell off the dock unto a raft below. It was quite a high fall but she was not hurt very much for she waited around to see us off a couple of hours after she was lifted up again. The boys threw her all kinds of buttons and badges, enough to start a shop. Well when we at last got started I believe every boat and locomotive whistle around started to blow and salute over and over again. The trip down the St. Lawrence was very pretty up until the time we dropped our pilot but from then on it was rather bleak, snow still being on the high hills on either side. The weather was cold the first 5 or 6 days of the trip and today is the first really fine day we have had that is due probably to the fact that we are about 80 miles south of Lands End, England a course which it seems was necessary to follow in order to avoid submarines as much as possible. There was really nothing of interest, a couple of days it was rough and a large number were sick. I escaped. We past an old Norwegian sailing vessel in mid ocean and later on a Dutch steamer, the Maasdijk of Rotterdam but no signal or salute was passed between us and the latter vessel although the first one signalled. We also saw other ships away off in the distance but but these two passed [?] ¾ of a mile. Our Machine Guns were unpacked and placed on deck for the purpose of potting a submarine and also for target practice, the Gun at the rear of the ship was used for target work. Boxes and barrels were thrown overboard and we shot at them. There was some good shooting at a hundred or perhaps one hundred and fifty yards but further than that the gun was useless as the roll of the ship would not allow 4 good sighting. Therefore for the purpose of shooting a sub I think it would have been a waste of ammunition. However it was good sport and practice. Was just up on deck before turning in. All lights are out and port holes covered with towels, life boats are swung ready for instant use and land is in sight as we have just passed a couple of lighthouses on Bishop's rock. The little torpedo boats are still there. They seemed to come from nowhere and just take their places as though it was the usual thing to do. Was down in the stoke hold tonight and was surprised at the size and number of furnaces. Thirty six in all and about sixty stokers, the hardest toughest men I have ever seen and shovelling coal for all their worth. Our quarters are second class. The officers and seargants are first class but A company who came first on board were put down in the hold, the steerage. It smells terribly down there and I wonder how they put up with it at all at all. Our section was fortunate in coming last in the march and getting the good berths. We all eat third class which however is not so bad. Well mother will write again soon. Have you called on Mrs. Elliott with Agnes yet. I suppose William is sailing by now and having a good time which he deserves. Marion and Eudora were real good to slip me that tobacco at the last moment and I certainly enjoy it. Will close now and hope to hear from you as soon and as often as you can. Your loving son John Pte John Law Machine Gun Section 19th Battalion 4th Infantry Brigade 2nd Can. Expeditionary Force War Office London England #55086 above is my address. I can hear Marion say "My how important he feels" am I right.

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