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Date: February 2nd 1917

"C" coy. 196th B'n. Army P.O. London
Feb. 2,1917

Dear Folks:

Well I'm back at the B'n now. The school was all shot to pieces by an order from Brigade H.Q. that no more men were to be allowed commissions unless they had seen service. They did let 80 men go from "A" Coy of the O.Y.C. but they let me down. The 80 were supposed to be picked from those who passed highest in the exams but I got an average of 80.0 and there's very few higher but they bawled things up and didn't enclude me. However I wasn't the only one -- Burnie was let out too and about five others. I'm not at all crazy about landing a commission for its a lot of responsibility to take over there. If a fellow is in Lieu and makes a mistake he probably loses his whole platoon. And then too most of the bunch are back here including Peener,Mac, Duffy and in fact everybody except Chuck, Feurt, Gus & Clark. I was talking to Major McLeod tonight & he said I would probably be sent to Hythe or some school and take a course. That means a couple of months of Musketry, P.T. & B.F.,Bombing or something like that. Anything at all beats forming fours or even telling a bunch how to do it when they all know better than the Brig. Gen. himself. Its a cinch that a Liew is the most dangerous capacity that a fellow can go over in, if you can get any reconciliation out of that -- I can't see any myself.

I'm sure looking for the sweater you're sending -- its going to be mighty handy for our P.T. and for wearing between parades. Didn't I tell you about the canned chicken you sent? -- I sure did -- I know I wasted four pages doing it. It certainly carried O.K. and lasted two minutes after I got it open. I think some thing is radically wrong with the mail service. Chuck has a grouch on tonight -- he doesn't want to go to Crowbro' because Burnie & I aren't going and he can't get out of it now. He doesn't like Speed very well and Feurt is too much of a groucer to be congenial to anyone but me & I can usually take it out of him, and Clark is a regular hot air fiend and that gets Chuck's goat proper. I wouldn't trade places with him either unless ‘Kitrick, Peener & Burnie & the rest were going too. Write Chuck often for I imagine he's going to get fed up at Crowbor".

J.D. McNab has gone over in a draft to the Somme. We're reinforcing the 46th and they are in the same Brigade as the 49, the P.P.C.L.I. etc. I think I told you all this before didn't I? The latest is that each Coy of the original 196th are reinforcing the B'n from each of the Provinces so that "C" Coy will go with some Alberta B'n. I hope its the 49th. No N.C.O.'s are allowed to go until the privates have all gone and we can't revert to the ranks so we're out of luck. Major McLeod promised me tonight that he wouldn't send any men in out bunch unless he had to and he said perhaps we all could take the school. This makes the "steent school for me. Will I ever get away from studying? Who laughed! The bunch all want to get over to France but I can't go on account of my measly stripes and I make ‘em all swear they would wait. J.D. got away before I saw him or I'd have talked him out of it. "Kitrick is trying to get into the Engineers but transfers are hard to get especially for N.C.O.'s. You would almost think we were some an eh what!

I had a letter from Rose & a box of cig's - rotten ones, but I wished most of them off on innocent parties & will write Rose tonight. It was good of her to send them and I duly appreciate it. Nuf for tonight. I hope Mater is better



P.S. Inside Stuff:-- the war will be over in November -- 19?