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Date: December 8th 1916

France, Dec. 8, 1916

Dearest Mother:

Received your letter of Nov. 13 yesterday and want to write today, as we will be on the road again in a day or two. We left our position on the morning of Sunday the 3rd and came back to a little village some 20 miles behind the lines where we are in billets. Our subsection is in an old barn half of us in each end. In our end, about 16 feet square, we have a nice little stove and a splendid little fire. The great trouble is to get wood. Wood is very scarce and we have to do some figuring to get it, usually after dark but among us we manage to get plenty to keep a good hot fire going and get along OK.

I received a parcel with the sweater, gloves, writing tablets and jam yesterday. Many thanks for them. The sweater is a splendid fit and just the thing I've wanted and the gloves are fine, the real thing for going out on the lines. I have not opened the jam yet, am saving it up to when we get back into the firing line. I am pretty well fitted out in the line of clothes now. We got a new issue of two suits of underwear a few days before coming out. Then I have the vest that Clemmie sent and the issue sweater coat. Added to this is sheepskin jacket, cloth lined, sleeveless with which we were issued. It is a great protection against wind. Then we have our rain coat and great coat. We have three blankets and a rubber sheet and by doubling up have five blankets over us so we ought never to be cold.

We were down into the next town, two miles away, for a bath the day before yesterday and got a fairly decent shower. It was quite the treat after the sponge baths we have been used to for so long. Yesterday I was into another town on the other side of us, quite a large place, and had a real good meal of steak and eggs which was certainly a treat. Got a number of little articles I needed, as a razor strap. etc., and got back for roll call at 7:30.

The village we are in is not much of a place. There is only a small civilian population and all the vacant buildings are used as billets. There are a few little shops where you can buy eats, candies, matches, etc., also postcards. I got a number of postcards of the Somme front. I suppose we will not be allowed to send them from here but will be able to when we get to Blighty on leave. I got a nice souvenir booklet of A [?] after the bombardment. We expect to leave here on Sunday morning on our trip north. Will probably be about three days on the road.

Don't think I have any more today. Will write again as soon as we get settled a little in our new position. Now must close. Again thanking you for the sweater, gloves, etc.

With love from, Harold