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Date: June 28th 1918

June 28th 1918

My Dear Mother:

I have intended writing you for some days but have not had the best conditions for doing so. Guess my last letter was dated June 16th and since then I have only mailed a couple Field Post Cards. Have been in the line for the last six days and in a poor place too considering our quarters but still it might be worse. One thing our dugouts are safe. They were mostly built by the enemy when he was here of planks and I have a bunk in one of the passageways. They were damp which is the worst part of deep dugouts and we only stay in them at nights unless it is advisable to remain below.

Will let you know what I have been doing since last writing. Think I mentioned that I saw one of the Waters boys. Brother of one of the Waters. On the 17th were paid and the same day I also received the parcel you sent on April 9th. Over two months coming. It contained the Watch which was in good shape and I was pleased to get it as I was afraid it was lost. Gave it to Marshall as my wrist watch is going well and he has none. At present he is away sick but I expect will so be back here again. Nothing serious. On the 18th saw some very good sports held by Canadians and there was lots of excitement and a few fairly good [?] a Jew being the best, and he acted the part to the limit and was always [?]. A few nurses were to be seen from some place near at hand no doubt. The following day I left my little [?] sorry to say and the next couple of days were spent in a hut on our way. While there had a chance to go to a concert and it was enjoyed and the first I had seen since January so wasn't very hard to please. Also received a Canadian mail which is always welcome and one letter was from you and another from Evelyn. We first had a dugout here that had about fifty steps down but we were obliged to move. This place has been under shellfire for almost the whole war so you will know it is pretty well battered. What was once a village is nothing but stones now and deep shellholes are everywhere. A little over a year ago it was held by the enemy. I am still observing and have been on duty every other day for daylight only which is not bad. It is about a twenty minute walk each way. There is very little to be seen unless far away, as what were once villages can scarcely be recognized now except for the reddish brick color of the ruins.

First of all, must thank you for the parcel and everything contained in it was very good. The marmalade was a treat and a change to what is called marmalade jam. Tell Father to charge the cost of repairs of watch to me. Also to let me know what the bill was as probably I will sell it out here if I get a fair price for it.

Received another Canadian mail today. A letter from Maude Cooke. Also one from Isabel, and you might show her this one. Expect there may be more tomorrow.

Note what you say about the post cards and I am sorry if they have been taken out or lost. They were in a green envelope. Did the envelope show signs of being opened? Do not think I sent the slip about the play to you, but in another letter and I wish you would send it to me so I can see it, if you still have it. The paper I asked Isabel to get will not have the same interest if the cards are missing. Probably they may still come. Evelyn has been having quite a time with the casts and I trust these will be good results. No, I do not suppose Eliz will be at the camp this summer if she succeeds in passing her Exam, and being accepted. Had a letter from her a few days ago and she was having quite a time on the ranch riding although I expect there has been plenty of work to do too.

I hope you will make good use of the boat this summer as it will have to work most of the time to earn its keep. Note you are making more improvements and the camp will soon be an ideal place, flies or no flies. The fish also seem to be coming along well and the 17 1/4" one would be a dandy to get on the hook.

I suppose Smyth forgot the Photo. I received one he had taken last December and you might as well have it so I enclose it herewith. He is now a Sergeant and deserves it too as he is a hard worker. Evelyn said there was a letter from Alderson Smith at Guelph so probably it was money. Will wait until I hear from you before I write him. Cannot tell you very much about the work I am doing Except it is to keep a watch on the enemy and if we see anything worth shooting at to tell the guns where it is and get them at it quick. See very little so it isn't often we can do much. Moving around is mostly done after dark when you cannot see it. Received the snaps from Evelyn. They are not very good but give an idea anyway of the house. Capt Bland was at Kingston when I was there and is a nice fellow. Noticed Hockin had enlisted also Oakes, Swanson, Fielding too hasn't be? as well as many others. Roy will be lucky if he escapes for long the way they are after them lately. I knew the Forsyth boy who was in the Auto accident. He was to France and was months in hospital with about twelve shrapnel wounds in the leg. Expected drink had something to do with it. Marguerite White is having quite a time running around lately. Probably she will settle down soon. So Daymond is enlisting too. You seemed to have lots of fun with him but I guess he will not be able to visit the camp if he is in the Army.

Expect to be getting some fresh fruit now in our canteen. Strawberries are for sale now and others will follow.

We have not had any very warm weather so far and in fact it has been chilly lately. Had a little rain which would help the crops. On the whole the climate is good and moderate. Received a letter from Mrs Gorman a couple of weeks ago answering one I wrote Mr. G last March. She told me how things were going and wrote a nice letter and he added a postscript.

Well it is getting rather late so as I go on duty in the morning, think I better come to a close.

Hope you are all in the best of health and with love to everyone.

Your son

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