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Date: August 16th 1916

Manetz Wood,
late Aug.16, 1916

and, once we get settled, we will probably have two days or a week more or less to ourselves, instead of one. Until we get dug in and settled of course we will be on the job continually. Until we get our dugouts completed we will be sleeping down at the old position. Very few of us expect to live in the deep dugout at present. It is too damp and dark to be comfortable or healthy. We will go in pairs and fours and dig small ones for ourselves around the big one. We'll make them nice and roomy, have them well aired and the much more comfortable. They are proof against all but a direct hit and in case of a straffe we are to get in the deep ones which are proof against a fairly large shell.

Well we have almost completed three months in France. As you know we landed on the first of June. We got up to our positions in the firing line on the 7th, did our little bit until the big engagement of July first which will certainly be a memorable Dominion Day for us, for that was the first big straffe we were in. On July 4th, we left that position and came up along the line to the present one. Here for three weeks it was pretty hot and on the 12th of July we had our first casualty just at noon. This was the day Lantz was killed and Burke and Tougere [?] wounded. From the 12th through the 23rd, eleven days, we had nine casualties, Mr. Hooper being the last. Out of these nine only one, Albert
Duvetz [?], was a telephonist. He got a very slight shrapnel wound on the shoulder. So you will see that telephonists have been pretty lucky.

Taking it all though we have been a lucky battery. With many O.C.'s, guns are given the first place, ammunition next and men last. Not so Maj. Prowse. His policy is men first and then guns and ammunition and our orders are that it is better to do half an hour undercover and be safe then to go out and run the chance of getting a wound that will mean months in hospital.

Our Sergeant Major, Leightizer [?], who came over with us, got a commission and stayed in Horsham in charge off the reserve, Sgt McKay becoming Sgt. Major in his place. After Mr. Hooper was hit the major sent for him and he arrived last week. I think Mr. Hooper is expected back before very long also. We also got a bunch of the surplus over from Horsham to take place of those in hospital. There were however no telephonists among them. One of them, Ellis, an R.C.G.A. fellow from Quebec, received a commission into the R.F.C four days after coming over to France and has gone back again to take of course.

Think I must close now and drop a line [?]. Will write again in a few days.

Love to all, Harold