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Date: December 25th 1917

Somewhere in France
Dec 25th 1917

My Dear Sister:

I received your letter of Nov 11th on Dec 21st so as I wrote home a couple days ago will answer yours now. It is almost 3 weeks now since I heard from Guelph. I note you have mailed me a box of Chocolates and I thank you very much in advance and more when I get them. Had hoped to receive a box, or so by today but got nothing. Evidently they have become tied up in the Xmas rush, but I do not care so long as I get them in the next week or so as any day does just as well. Know of 4 now that were mailed around the 1st or 2nd week in November. I hope you have enjoyed yourself today and I suppose you were able to get home. We left our rest billets Sunday morning. I was in the 3rd or last party to leave there. The first leaving a couple of days earlier. We arrived at our guns about 8 P.M. about 4 hours in the motor lorries. In the afternoon had a parade of Siege Batteries and presentation of Military Medals by a Brig-General. About 6 we passed through a town, that was being bombed while we came through so you may be sure we didn't waste much time there but put on full speed. We are located in the ruins of a town which was held by Fritz a year ago and the billets are dugouts built of brick in the cellars of old houses and are almost shellproof except from large shells. The Germans had them all fitted out with steps cut in the earth to get down into them. The three of us are together again and we have a small stove to heat the place with. There is also a mirror in the dugout which was probably saved from a house before it was shelled. The guns are only 5 minutes walk away so quite handy. On Monday morning I went on duty and just came off this morning. However was pleased to have the rest of the day to myself. We had chicken for dinner and also the allowance of Plum Pudding which was very good. The chicken could have been younger. There was snow about 2" when we came here but it disappeared last night and tonight it is snowing heavy again. One thing this place is full of rats and some of them are larger than most cats or at least look it. The Battery was here a considerable time before they made there last move so the place is like home to all except the new men.

Today has passed quietly so far as was yesterday. It seems hard to be throwing shells at one another on Xmas Day but I suppose they cannot stop the war even for the day. Wood is more plentiful here and we can get all we want out of the ruins of houses just outside our door. Any buildings that still stand have their walls punctured with shell holes.

Don't worry over your letters not reaching me as I think I have received them all. By lately on the F.S. Card I meant probably a week while a long time would be a month. Have to leave something uncancelled if I can. Of course they tell nothing anyway except to say you are well. Harold was lucky to get a dentist so soon. Roy will have to be more careful with the gold next time. He is apparently getting along well when he is starting on inlaid work. Will let you know when I get the box. You will remember my letter from England. Will be pleased to have an answer. The latter is the one, I mean. Sorry you spilt all the good Iodine. It is very useful. We always carry a tube of it sewed up in our tunics. Think I have given you all the news about me. [?] asked thus complete the day. Love to all.


Glad you have a piano.

T.W.H. 16-1-18

Dear Mother

Received your letter yesterday and this one from Rob to-day but I guess you will have one by this time. I am writing to him to night - I wrote Will today and sent him the program of Mischa Elmans Recital of last night. Marguerite will not like coming home. I like the sample of Pas suit & I think Will wear well this paper is like grease my pen won't write. Note the dots on first page - I didn't feel the cold very much the Home and Hosp are quite warm. I was at Aunt Lizzies all Sunday went out Sat. night I slept in the room with the grate fire - Bob was down - Had Turkey - he had to answer his [?] on Mon at Barrie he doesn't [?] get out. Mischa Elman was grand and Alma Gluck is coming.

Your daughter

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