April 29, 1916
Saturday afternoon and I must drop you a few lines. We did not have any Canadian mail yet this week. I don't know what has happened to it. We ought to get a double dose next week. Am sending you some of those snaps you said you would like to have a couple more. Sent a bunch of cards I think it was the first of the week. Hope you get them all right. Sent Heber a card this morning. Am sending a postcard of Lydd church with the snaps Told you something of its history in my last letter. [not in collection?]. It was built about 1300. Well, last Monday night we had an observation post on the spire for some night work and had to connect up with another O.P. about a mile away. I was one of the ones who went up on the Tower with the line and phone. We went in the door at the front, turned to our left and started up the spiral staircase. The steps are only five inches high and we went up and up and around and around, through impenetrable darkness, except when a little window showed a glimmer of light about every 20 feet, until it seemed as if we had gone nearly a mile, although it was only a hundred and twenty-five feet. Well we got out on top at last and saw the best view of the country imaginable. It was a perfect afternoon and we had lots of time. To the South and stretching around to each side was the sea. Across to the East was Dover. To the North the level marshes of Kent with only a few houses or a little village to break the monotony and to the West the more hilly country around Hastings. It was the most beautiful panorama that I have ever been fortunate enough to gaze upon. Have been up several times since and it is well worth the climb.
Well we have had our first experience at firing the big guns. We fired on Wednesday and Thursday. Wednesday's shoot was excellent and Thursday's, with the exception of a couple of mistakes scarcely noticeable by one of the layers, was as good. We shoot again on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week.
Yesterday a party of us went out on the range to set up targets and post the flags before the shoot and we telephonists had to keep up communication with the battery. This was the first time I was near the shells when they were bursting. We were only 200 yards from the target and it was very interesting but it was enough to make it exciting.
Don't think I have much news. Everything is pretty quiet here. All of the fellows are well. Lawson, Bart, Kelly and I are all in the same hut. Also Herb McEwen and Art Johnstone (Andrew Johnstone's son). Art is a fine fellow.
We are brigaded with the 97th from Halifax and the 107th from Montreal. There is a great rivalry between a 97th and the 98th. They are jealous because we are getting ahead of them but the 107th are as fine a bunch of fellows as you could hope to meet and we are the best friends imaginable. They also are getting on well in their work and the 97th are getting jealous of them also. Of course we are on the best of terms but there is never the effort put into our game of baseball for instance between the 107th and us that there is when the 97th plays. Personally I think this rivalry has done both batteries good as competition at anytime, be it in work or play, leads to better results but I am afraid of
the 97th show a tendency to carry it too far and may in a few cases make ill feeling. This is due to a large percentage of them not being Canadian born and the Englishman has not nearly so generous a nature as the Canadian born.
Well I think I must sign off now. Hope to get a pile of Canadian mail in a day or two. Will write again next week. Let me know if you get the snaps. Bye bye for this time
Love to all from, Harold