Dear Folks :
I haven't written you all week but we've been busy with exams and I simply had to do a little plugging. We finished this morning and I'm pretty well satisfied with them. Rumor hath it that a bunch more are going to Crowborough in a few days so I'm in hopes.
The 19th reserve B'n - which is the 196th plus the 222nd and a few more had another inspection yesterday morning and it was about the worst yet. Our exams were called off for the A.M. and we all had to parade at 7:45 A.M. in full marching order, at the Reserve parade ground. Then we fell in in our old Coy's and marched over to H.Q. Most of our Officers are away. Lawrence left last Wednesday for France and Ewart was on duty so Peener & I had to look after the platoon. The band was a combination of the 196th and 222nd -- the two best bands in Camp Hughes last summer - so it was quite some band -- 58 pieces besides a 40 piece bugle band. That was the only redeeming feature about the whole thing. We stood at attention for two hours and a half while about 15 Red caps looked us over so you can imagine how comfortable we were. Near the end the stretcher bearers were working for quite a few fainted. I think I'll have to find out how they do it -- I didn't feel anything except rhuemitism in my shoulders and that aught to keep anybody from fainting. We didn't do any "one-elict(?)" stuff in coming up to attention either. Somebody said it was like the mad minute at the ranges where we fire 15 rounds in 60 seconds. We were all right as far as quantity goes -- over 2000 of us but were far from showing much quality. Nobody seemed to care if "school kept or not". We get a muster parade on Monday so that means more standing around stuff.
I've been altogether too lucky lately. Four parcels in two days besides a bunch of Can. letters. On Thursday I got parcel No 2 from Marg and two from home and today I got a big one from home. You must have run the weight limit pretty close on the one I got today. As ususal they came OK. Not a thing broke or spoiled. Both jars of strawberries were absolutely jake and believe me I played "hog" ‘em too.l I just finished one when along came the box today with the other jar. Marg. sent me a sweet little flashlight which is mightly handy over here for the nights are absolutely black. You can't go down town without one without falling in a ditch or bumping into somebody about every block. Then the funny part of it was that they only keep batteries for the one kind of flash light down town & its the kind I got. A lot of fellows have the square ones and are out of luck. when the batteries wear out. Then there was a book in Marg's box -- "When a man's a man" by Wright for which the whole hut is du thankful I've got three now -- the two from home "Happy Hawkins in the Panhandle" and the Daredevil and its funny to hear everybody "get in line for them". I haven't read the Daredevil yet myself but about half the hut have & they say its great. The other one is real good and takes a lot of real reading. Marg also sent some sardines which I cleaned up the next meal. I got some crackers at the canteen & had a regular feed. I'm saving the ones I got for tonights supper. The cookies, I think will be pretty much all gone by then for I've got them here now and was fool enough to pass them around the table. I guess I don't need to tell you how I appreciated the melachrino's - according to reports somebody must have been spending some hard earned kail at the Dominion Cigar store for Peener and Feurt also report having received Melachrinos. There sure great but I think you ought to cut it down to Players. They serve the purpose almost as well and are a lot chepaer.
Spud and I went down to the Beach Hotel and had a real meal last night and then put in the evening in the smoking room talking to a guy from Brighton. We got a lot of enjoyment out of sitting in front of a fire place & looking prosperous.
Thanks very muchly for the snaps. They are real good. Its a new dig of Jays isn't it? I don't recognise it anyway.
Well this is all for today. Perhaps I'll have some news next mail.
Heaps of Love from
P.S. ‘Kitrick was up to London for a week and saw Reg there. He was over on leave for a few days but in back again now. He was only slightly hit on the head. I'm expecting a letter from him soon.