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Date: March 5th 1916

4th Univ. Co. P P.C L I.
St. Martin's Plain,
Shorncliffe, March 5, ‘16

Dear Mother: -

It is quite awhile since I heard from home. I think Belle's letter written when she was sick, was the last. I am still in quarantine but am going to slip a couple of letters out today anyway.

There is almost an epidemic of measles in camp now. There are about 100 of our own company in quarantine, although there have been only 3 cases among our men so far. But where a case breaks out in the hut everyone in the hut is kept in.

This is the only paper I have, which accounts for me using it. I hope you will be able to read this.

We have had a very good time the last two weeks. It is a relief to be able to do as, you we like after the strictness that we have been used to. Instead of getting up at revéillé which is 530 sleep in till about 7 and then have breakfast, and fold our blankets afterwards. Then we sweep out the hut and tidy things up a little. About 9.15 we go out for a walk. This is our main day's work. We walk steady for 3 hours getting back for dinner at 1230. We usually go about 10 miles. It is very different from a route march for we do not carry any packs or rifles.

Every day we try to go a different road so as to see as much of the country of as we can. By doing this we have come to know the roads pretty well. It is very hard to find the way around though, without knowing the roads for they run in all directions and wind around hills and through little valleys until a person hardly knows where he is at.

We have had a real Canadian snow storm since I wrote last. It lasted for about two days and the weather was very cold for a few days. There was about 6 inches of snow on the level and drifts over the roads were in many places 4 or 5 feet deep. It has nearly all gone now except in shady places. We went out every day as usual and it seemed more like an ordinary winter to us. I had a letter from Cousin Sallie Richardson today. She said she has never seen so much snow at once, before.

I don't know whether I shall be able to get away now to see Uncle Joe on account of being off training for 2 or 3 weeks. I am going to apply for leave though as soon as I get out. It is much harder to get leave in our company than almost any other because our training in rushed through quicker than others.

There are 70 of our company going to France on Tuesday. They have not been in quarantine, so we will be kept a little longer to make up for it.

I have not seen Jim for about 4 weeks now, but I heard today that the draft he is on has not gone yet. We are due to get our of quarantine next week sometime and then I shall get over and see him. I would like to get see Major Wright also before I go.

There is so much noise going on here that I can hardly write. Some are singing, others talking, and the tables and benches are none too steady.

Today instead of going on a long walk as it is Sunday, we walked over to an old castle about 3 miles from here and looked around. Like all the old churches and inns, it has a good deal of history connected with it. It is a very old one and the walls and towers around it are pretty well all in ruins. The walls are covered with ivy and even oaks nearly 3 feet through are growing right out of the ruins. In many places the roots of the trees are sticking out of the wall 10 or 12 feet above the ground. We are not allowed through the castle now as a Canadian Colonel has rented it for the summer. Up to a few weeks ago though, visitors were shown through, and those who saw it said it was very interesting. From the outside we could see tunnels underneath the walls, the moat around the castle and all kinds of dugouts and basements with barred windows etc.

Before I forget, if you happen to have a pair of socks knitted, I could use them pretty well now. I think I still have all you have sent so far, but I have to mend them occasionally and in case we go away in a few weeks it would be as well to have an extra paper pair, or two.

I don't know whether I told you or not, that I had heard from Ethel Galloway or Mrs. Chas. Gray, as I find she is now. It seems that the only way to find out who your relatives are is to join the army. Les. Galloway gave her my address.

I have had more time for reading during the last couple of weeks than usually and I think I have digested about a dozen books. Some of them were pretty fair, others were not much, but they were the only ones available. Among them were three of Gene Stratton Porter's, "Laddie," "At The Foot of The Rainbow" and "The Harvester".

Yesterday we took the longest walk we have had so far, 22 miles. I was pretty well satisfied to turn in for the night when we got back. We went to Dover or rather to the gates, as they do not let any one in without as pass now. As we were quarantined we had to take a road that would keep us out of any towns, hence the extra distance. By the shortest road from Folkstone to Dover it is only 8 miles.

The Zeppelins have been around again but the last raid which was on Friday night did not damage except to keep us in darkness for the whole evening. "Lights out" sounded at 6 o'clock so we went to bed early.

I see this is the 10th page so I shall have to stop. I shall try to answer all the letters I get, but as it is very inconvenient to write here sometimes, my letters home will have to do for those that are near enough to read them.

I hope the weather has eased up a little since you wrote last and that the house is not cold. Don't forget to write as often as you can. I am always looking for one from you. Lately they have not come very regularly. One letter from Winnipeg took 23 days to get here.

I am feeling fine. My cold is one and I am getting fatter every day.

Tell Geo & Frances I received their letter and snapshot of Margaret. I am anxious to see one of Doris and one of Grace Evelyn


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