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Date: September 16th 1918

Sept 16th 1918

Dear Father:

I was pleased to receive your letter dated Aug 18th enclosing also Elizabeths letter from Camp Custer, and to get all the news. Also received the snap and it is very good of your logging operation. Your letter is the first I have received since Evelyn's of Aug 2nd so I think some must have gone astray or are delayed. I received the parcel of Aug 2nd O.K. as already advised. The one from W.C.T. also came O.K. a couple of days ago and I have written him tonight acknowledging it. Also wrote a short letter to Eliz. to her new address, and I expect she will be looking for mail.

I am on duty tonight and it is after 11 now but I will finish this and then try and get a little sleep before morning. Am living in a great place so far as safety is concerned as practically nothing can bother us here. It is one of many similar dugouts around here. Has two or three entrances each with about forty steps leading down and then runs about 100 feet or more underground with little chambers off at the sides. It is all six feet clear and solid chalk walls so you can imagine the labor to build. Probably Fritz didn't intend them for us but we have them anyway. They are part of his strong defence lines but are no good when you get in behind them. Have had a great time the last few weeks moving around and it is not nice in some ways. Have no river handy so water for washing is not plentiful although we got plenty for drinking. Baths are being built however, and we expect to get the use of them soon. It is wonderful how things are handled. There is enough barbed wire around here to fence miles of country and at night you are tripping over it all the time. It is no good to stop the tanks and the rest follow through the gaps. Shellfire soon blows it to pieces also. Things are fairly quiet here just now although lively at times. Yesterday was a clear day and I have never before seen so much aerial activity. Could easily see forty of our planes at one time and they were lively. Saw several fights and some of the enemy machines forced to the ground and also several balloons going up in flames. The men in the basket jump in parachutes and it is quite a jump from two or three thousand feet and sometimes they do not land without injury.

Received a letter from Smyth today and he is alright after a few exciting times. He met another of our chums whom we had not heard of since he enlisted about three years ago. Smyth has not been getting my letters probably because I did not have his right address. I am enclosing a clipping concerning Mr Gorman's son. Have not heard anything further about him so far.

Notice you have been getting a few good sized fish lately and it must be good fun landing them. You should have carried your rifle that day as well but chances of that kind do not come very often. Your wood is going to cost you quite a sum but still it will be worth it and you will not have to depend on the coal which is likely to be a scarce article the coming winter. Pleased to hear you got the tin box alright. You will likely have my letter giving further information. The round piece of iron is a german egg bomb which they fill with power and a detonator and throw at you. Ours is better and also larger. They are wicked things to land at your feet.

Yes I suppose all the relations will now know about my applying for a commission. The papers came back and we sent them in again with a letter about two months and have heard nothing further. Either they have been destroyed or sidetracked. There are so many in. Saw our Colonel and he recommended me alright but higher up they returned them because I am suppose to have the rank of Corporal or higher. Do not expect to hear any more about it. Marshall is now waiting to see if I succeed as he is fixed the same way. It is a hard proposition. Of course, I could easily join the air service if I wished but am not anxious.

Notice by a paper issued to the soldiers that Dr Creelman is in England on business and has authority from the Ontario Premier to look into things over here in the Agricultural line. Hear Walker is in France in charge of an Imperial battery. Would like to see him. Pleased to know A. Smith sent another $12. I wrote him a note to pay up so I guess he will come along.

Note you have re-rented the house but expect to be home by Oct.12th or thereabouts. My last letter was sent to 45 Paisley so I will send this one there also. I received a letter from Harold about a week ago and will be answering soon.

I will be pleased to see Eliz. when she comes across. It is a good thing she is at an Eastern camp as she will likely be able to get leave before starting over, unless they go in a hurry. I am returning her letter herewith as I have her address and you may wish they letter. Trust you will be able to get the extra deer this year, as meat will no doubt be valuable.

Do not know what can be the trouble with my camera. It needs looking into. It hasn't been doing the best of work since I had it fixed in Toronto. Think they made it worse.

Things over here have been looking good the last month or so and there is still time before cold weather to do some good work. The winter will doubtless be spent quietly and then we will start things in the spring fast and furious and wind it up quick and be home for Xmas. I think that will be about the way of it unless something serious happens to the enemy this fall. It certainly looks promising these days. Often wish I could collect some of the material that goes to waste over here. It would be a great place for a scrap-iron dealer.

It is quite possible you may get the Edmn. tax notices on my lots, or they may come to me. Wish you would pay the taxes on the following lots:

Lots 21 and 22 Block 17 Martin Estate
" 19 and 20 " 12 Forest Heights
" 7 " 29 Glenora

There is also lot E in Block 3 Martin Estate, the one the house is on and over which I have the lawsuit and I do not know whether I should clear it up or not. Expect I will have to pay them anyway. There are about three years arrears now. Let me know what you think. I am now trying to get the house back at what it is worth today and still let my judgment stand for the remainder. Of course if I pay the taxes will include them in the judgment. Let me know when you hear from Ewing & Harvie about the other papers.

Have you heard anything about Blaythwaite lately and how he is getting along. Suppose he has his commission now and is out here. Had a few light casualties a few days ago but not serious. It is now after twelve so I guess I will stop as I have given you all the news anyway.

Love to all

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