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Date: February 23rd 1917

February 23, 1917

Dearest Mother:

Have just come back from the battery. Was up on a wheel after the mail after supper and had practically two weeks mail for the bunch so had quite a little load on the wheel for after dark. However, had a good share for myself so did not mind walking part way. Received three letters from you dated 26, 29 and 31 also the bundle of World Wides and Records and your parcel, containing dates, baked beans, milk, etc. Many many thanks for them all. They are certainly welcome, especially the letters for although far away we always look forward to the weekly mail and the news from home and reading matter is also appreciated. But I would rather you did not send so many parcels especially now
that you are not well. As I said before we can buy anything we want here, not like it was on the Somme. Now I must try and answer your letters, first that of Jan. 26th. You speak of having a cold snap. We had a touch of winter also but it is all gone now. Broke up about the 15th and has been damp and foggy ever since. and consequently there is lots of mud, too much in fact for pleasure. We started down the road this morning for lumber and in passing a place where they were fixing the road the driver kept too much to the outside of the road and went over into the ditch which was a foot and a half deep and soft at the bottom. We jacked her up and got planks and stones under the wheels but noon came before getting her out again and we beat it back to the huts for dinner. When we got
back the lorry was out. Another lorry had come along just after we left and hauled her out. You asked about uniforms and say fellows are complaining of being short of clothes. I don't know where there is any kick coming in that line for I think most of the fellows are pretty well fitted out. I got a new uniform just a few weeks ago and can almost always get a new one if the old one is worn out. So we are all right in that line.

In your letter of Jan. 29th you speak of not having sent any socks for some time and you say you think I may be short. On the other hand I am fitted out fine with socks. We have had several pairs issued from the Quartermaster lately which came through the Red Cross and today I received a pair from Mrs.Green and a pair of socks and some tobacco from Mrs. Rod MacLeod, Murdoch's mother. I was certainly surprised to get a parcel from her for I have only met her about twice in my life. It was certainly very good of her. In your letter of Jan. 31st you say they had no acknowledgment of the box the women sent me for Christmas. I wrote Mrs. Stirling shortly after receiving it and no doubt she will have received my letter some time ago.

The front page of the last copy of the Witness was torn up but I will tell you the date it changes in my next letter. You ask if I like to get the news of what is going on. That, I think, is what we all want in a letter, some of the gossip from home. We don't know what is going on at all except what we get in letters and the local items in the home papers and we like to hear all the little news items.

Now I have a little item myself. I was up to see Heber the day before yesterday. I found their wagon lines down in the village below us so went up in the ration wagon in the evening, stayed all night and left just in time to get back for dinner the next day. I found him all O.K., in good health although he had a cold and a touch of lumbago. He has been out eighteen months and is looking fine. He is a signaller and the fellows were telling me he is one of the best men they have, has splendid nerve, good health and can take his place with anyone and come out on top. He has applied for permission to take officer training at Shornecliffe and may leave any time. He is anxious to get away and get back
in time for the summer's work. Their battery is about 5 miles from here but only about 2 across country from our battery. He said he would slip down on a wheel the first day he got off so I am expecting to see him again any time. Laura is in Blighty on her leave - was just going the last letter Heber got. We were looking forward to leave after we left the Somme but evidently there is none coming our way this winter. Personally I am not very particular about it now that we have had this job down here and are likely to be here from two to three weeks yet. I would just as soon wait until the fall, when, I hope, the war will be over and we will be back for good.

Now I don't think there is any more news tonight. Have written a lot more now than I intended when I started. It is late and I must turn in.

Love to all and a very large share for yourself from your loving son, Harold