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Date: November 27th 1917


Dear Folks:

Well here we are again -- at school. This time its a sniper course and lasts about a month so chances are I'll spend Xmas here which isn't so bad -- that is compared with the trenches in this weather.

I like the course fine. Its more in my line than forming fours or PT & BF. Besides its something new and a change to the usual run of schools. We are supposed to be equipped with a snipers rifle - telescope - telescope sights - field glass, - prismatic compass etc. I knew how to handle them all before I ever was the army so it isn't at all hard to pick it up. we will get a lot of map reading , topography and that sort of thing that has got it over forming fours like a tent. The only thing is I'll have to shoot the spots right off the target for the best shots in the Corp are taking the course and what used to be good shooting in ordinary range shooting won't be in it here. You see its a Corp School and only one or two men from each B'n and they are usually snipers and real marksmen. I'm not a sniper or at least have never done any sniping but I've done good shooting every time the B'n was on the ranges so I suppose thats why they sent me. I don't know if I can get into the B'n sniping section or not but I sure will if I can for its far ahead of ordinary Coy work for we do no working parties or fatigues and only sniper when the Bn is in the line - that is the front line and that only about every other trip or so.

Its pretty disagreeable in the trenches these days too for its usually cold & rainy and not much doing. You know I'd sooner have Alberta weather at 40 below zero than this chilly wet weather. It takes the pep right out of you. We're jake here not' for we have good eats & good arm huts etc so I should worry.

I've been carrying a couple of cards around for a week now & haven't had time to write. I made short work of the oatmeal cookies believe me. Chief & I had a billet by out selves so I didn't have to treat the platoon. Marg's box was a bear. This is some of the paper & there's enough to last for a year - almost. I also got a parcel of magazines that were a regular godsend. There were some good articles in the Posts -- mostly on the Yankee Army -- one funny affair was a letter from one of them over here to a pal in U.S. and to read it when I know what he's trying to tell about its real funny. He had the French people sized up pretty good but he evidently needed quite a lot of training for he was talking about shooting grenades with live rounds etc. that would have disastrous results.

Say what do you know ! I'm on the line-up for leave to Blighty. It sounds too good to be true but its a fact. I don't suppose I'll get away before the end of January but its coming soon and thats something to look forward to. We get 14 days clear too now & I've planned on seeing Scotland & Ireland if I can. I'm going straight to Edinburgh & can go from there to Glasgow or wherever I want too.

The next forty miles is the money -- we get a little bonus to start on but it isn't very much and still I won't know exactly when I'm going in time to let you know. Could you arrange with the Bank of Montreal to have some in London, say by the middle of January & I could get it when I go over. The trouble is I might not go till February. Do you suppose they would hole it there?

Remember don't sent any unless its out of my allowance & send it thru' the bank. I don't know how much is there but don't send it all. And say if you want to use what is there got ahead for you might as well use it as the bank. Well I'll call it off for tonight. Thanks muchly for the parcels.

Love to everybody

Yours Bill