Search The Archive

Search form

Collection Search
Date: October 10th 1916

October 10, 1916

Dearest Mother

I am on duty as battery linesman, that is, in case of a break in any of our wires I am to go out on the line from this end until I find the break and get communication or until the fellow from the other end finds it as the case may be. There are two of us and we go on duty for twenty four hours starting at 7:30 a.m. But it is an easy twenty four hours duty for the line is seldom cut near the battery and often one does not have to go out at all. So far we haven't had a break and I am taking advantage ofthe opportunity to write a few letters.I received your letter of September 10 about a week ago and sent you a note I think on the fifth.

Received your letter of September 18 last night and your parcel of chicken, coffee, raisins, nuts etc. the night before. Many thanks for them; they certainly were good. I haven't opened the chicken get. Am saving it until the other stuff runs out. But the coffee was certainly a treat, also the raisins and nuts as we can't get anything like that over here.

I received Clemmie's parcel containing writing paper, pencils, dates, coconut, etc, also Mrs. Green's socks yesterday. Wrote to Mrs. Green this morning and am going to write to Clemmie this afternoon. Mrs. Stewart's cake has not shown up yet but I received a letter from Clemmie saying she mailed it. It may come tonight. The parcel mail usually comes the day after letters. Yes, I had a letter from Joe Fleming a few nights ago and I sent him a line two or three days ago. Had a letter from Ethel last night. I think I told you in my last letter that I had a letter from Laura Gordon. Am enclosing it. [He did]. You ask me about sending stuff for the winter. I wrote for a sweater and gloves in one of my last
letters. Just a medium weight sweater so that my tunic will button over it and something waterproof in the gloves line. Don't know of anything else just now that I will need but if I do will send for them.I am pretty well off for socks right now and think you had better not send any more for a while. You know too much is worse then too little over here for we can't move it around with us when we are moving so often.

I think your idea of adopting German prisoner, or rather a prisoner in Germany is a good one. There is certainly a great deal to be done in that line. You want me to give you the name and number of any of the boys in our battery who do not get parcels but I do not know who they are. We are a pretty lucky bunch in the parcel line and as far as I know everybody gets a pretty good share.

We have been having pretty good weather lately, cool and a few showers, but no heavy rain. I suppose however the rainy season which is bound to come will be here soon and with it mud, mud everywhere. However, no use anticipating it before hand. We will make the best of it when it comes.

We are looking forward to leave in the near future. We have been in France almost four and half months and for three and half months have been in the thick of the greatest battle the world has ever known, the battle of the Somme. It has been work, work, day after day, fifteen to twenty hours a day, without any relief, without even a days' rest and the anticipation of a week in Blighty is good. I am planning on going to Scotland again. Was just there long enough to want to see some more of it.

Received a bundle of Records and World Wides from you night before last. Many thanks. I'm very glad to get them. By the way as to what I would like you to send, some of the boys have not had butter sent from home. You know it is one of the impossible things over here. Of course we get an issue but one cannot buy any extra. While at Fricourt we bought 1/4 pound one time for which we paid a franc and a half - 30 cents or $1.20 of pound. Now you cannot buy it. It came in a little tin can like a cocoa can and it was in first-class condition. I had some a few nights ago and it was fine. If you would put a little can in your next parcel it would be a real treat. Don't send too much in case of it spoiling. We can usually get extra jam which takes the place of butter but a little Canadian butter now and then for a change would go mighty good.

Now must close and write to Clemmie. Will write again soon.

Love from your loving son, Harold