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Date: December 24th 1899

Belmont, South Africa

December 24th /99

Dear Sister

Maggie it is a queer thing I have got no word from home but just one letter from mother there was not much news in it but it was welcome I am going to write no more until I get an answer I may be up the line farther but the one address will find me anyway here we expect to be in the next scrap and I guess we will from all accounts and that wont long and it is going to be a hard one we have planted some of our boys and there is going to be more missing before another month but I have pulled through so far and I think will pull through the tonsillitis in time our principal duty is doing guards patrools fatigues Out post and examining guard to prevent surprise when there are no boers within miles of us we are good tin soldiers I dont know what they want another thousand men from Canada there are lots of men so now sending more means a bill of expense and a nusance to Canada there are lots of the boys wish they were back at home belonging to this Batt there are a few hardships under Marshall law and active service that lots are not aware of I tell you people at home has no idea what a soldier life means on active service I tell you it is not camp and 5 hrs a day drill look nice & clean it means 24 miles a days March with hardly anything to eat then a lye down in the trenches take a little sleep if you can with your harness & ammunition bullets whistling all around you no fun