I guess I haven't written since we came back from rest, have I? Well we've done quite a bit of running around and have had one trip in the line. To start where I left off -- we left out "rest camp" and came down nearer here to do some manoeuvers. We marched down one day - about 12-15 miles - and started our manoeuvers the next morning. We ended up our first day about 7 PM and had supper. Then all of a sudden the "fall-in" blew and we had to march back to where we started from P.D.Q. - we done the whole distance without a halt - getting home in the small hours. Then the same day at noon we left for the line in lorries The next night we went up the line and had quite a stirring trip. Things had been happening around there and the first morning we were in the line I saw my first barrage. Say it was a bear - I can't tell you about it or anyone else either for you have to see it to know what its like. It happened just at dawn. Of course, we were standing-to all night but it was the usual kind of a night -- a few shells whistling over head but nothing exciting. Well the barrage was set for a certain time and just on the second every piece of gunnery opened up absolutely at the same time. There seemed to be a million machine guns behind us and every one cracked at the same minute. Then bullets whistling above 'till you would think if you looked up you could see nothing else. At first I just about stampeded but I got wise to what it was and hopped up on the firing step to take a look at it --Well I sure felt sorry for Fritz right then. The whole front line looked like boiling water -- it simply bubbled. The barrage kept up for quite awhile and I believe there was enough lead and steel passed thru' the air to dam up the Saskatchewan. Of course we got a little back but they can't hold a candle to us. We had a few casualities but practically all slight wounds. Peener got a rap on the side of the head. He was looking over the top with two other fellows when a shell lit right in front of them. It knocked them down off the parapet but Peener was the only one that got touched. I don't think he will be in the casualities for we heard today that he never got any farther than the dressing station and would be with us again in a week or so. I was hoping he would make Blighty on it but I guess not. I didn't see him after he got hit as I as on a spare machine gun down at the other end of the trench. We came out of the line last night getting to billets at 4.30 this morning, then we got breakfast & got our pack ready and marched down here this P.M., - in heavy marching order. So I'm a little tired tonight. However we're real comfortable here - in huts under some big trees & prospects of a few days rest. So the old war goes on after all it isn't as tough as it looks from back there.
I got the last box about a week ago -- the P.M. of the night we went up the line so almost all of it went up with me. It sure came at a good time & was mighty useful I got a letter from Jay yesterday written on May 6th. It had been all over England & France. It had some snaps of Lou & Jay & an auto parade Jay wanted some heather so I'm sending some white heather that Drink sent me. It may be all broke up by the time it gets there. Drink got it on Beacon Hill, Surrey.
This is all tonight. I'll write more in a few days.
Love to everybody
P.S. Had a letter from the nephew of mine today. Forward thanks will you? WJM
N.B. Also got a parcel containing pair of sox, two handerchiefs, 50 cig's and a package of gum from the U. of A. soldiers comfort club. Bill