February 25th, 1918
The mail has just come in bringing your two parcels in and containing Thermos bottle, khaki shirt and socks and the other containing the biscuits. Many thanks for them all. The Thermos bottle is a dandy and will certainly come in useful now with the spring work coming on, for a warm drink will often be very welcome while out on lines. Am going to put a carrying strap on it so that I can sling it and carry it like a water bottle. The khaki shirt will also be very useful. I was pretty well supplied before. Had three but one of them is getting pretty well worn and the one you sent will replace it. The only disadvantage of having too many shirts or too much kit at any time is when moving, but in this position a good supply comes in very handy; as we are not likely to do much moving for some time, we are not overburdened with them. Socks of course are always welcome and useful. Say those soda biscuits are fine. We have been chewing away at them ever since they came. Another chap got a package of pancake flour in a parcel and he is busy frying them now. It is especially prepared so that it only needs to be mixed in water and fried. We have just sampled the first one and it is fine.
Sent you a letter on the 18th to thank the you for your two previous parcels received about the 15th and your letters on Jan. 7 and 13th received at the same time. Received a parcel from Clemmie I think on the 21st and wrote her the same day. Also received letters from Enid and Aunt Maggie in last week's mail which I haven't acknowledged yet. Must answer them tomorrow if I have time. You say in one of your letters that you think there it is a can of fruit cake which I did not get. Yes, I got it and wrote thanking you for it but think my letter must have gone astray. As far as I know, I have received all your parcels and have always written promptly thanking you, but I think my letters or at least some of them have gone astray. You ask if there is anything I need which you can send. In the line of kit, no. I am well fitted out for the summer, in fact I have all I can handle but of course eats are always welcome. We are well fed. There is no room for complaints about our rations but you know one gets a bit tired of army grub and anything from home tastes mighty good. The home folks can never realize how much their parcels have been appreciated by their boys in France.
Your registered letter has not come yet but will probably be along in a day or so. They usually take a little longer to come. No I do not need money at present. If I run short I will not hesitate to write. We are getting forty-five francs a month now instead of thirty. Of this forty-five we put on an average about thirty into eats, the remainder going for necessary extras, writing pads, soap, smokes etc.
You asked about Harry Marks. Don't know if he is with the battery or not. I believe they are somewhere behind us. Am going back someday I am off duty to look them up. Was talking to one of their fellows over the phone today, an old PWC chum of mind. Want to write to Mrs. Clark someday when I get time. Am sorry for her worry 'about Joe but as far as he himself is concerned he is darn lucky to get back out of it all for a while with so slight a wound. Had a letter from Murdoch MacLeod a few nights ago. He is out here somewhere in a railway construction outfit. Has been out for a couple of months. (excuse candle grease. Someone jarred the table and knocked the candle over on my page.)
Still we are having it fine. Have only have one rainy day in February so far. Tonight is clear and moonlit with a white frost falling, an ideal night. Everything is very quiet, in fact to stand in the doorway of what is left of the house above our shack and look back over the fields shining under the gentle rays of the moon one could almost imagined that the war was over and that one was back in good old Canada, God's country, again.
There is an unconfirmed rumor going around that two and probably three Union members have been returned from P.E.I. by the soldier's vote. I hope it is true for I think that Union government is the only possible solution for the successful carrying on of the war. The soldiers in France forgot party-ism and narrow political issues and voted for what they felt was the more speedy winning of the war, voted for reinforcements, for themselves, for the conscription of those who were not men enough to enlist, of their own free will, and he voted without being influenced by political propaganda of any kind, voted as his conscience told him and I think voted right. Prince Edward Island has won, by returning four Liberal members, the unenviable title of little Quebec and I am glad to think that the
soldiers' vote has been sufficiently strong to turn the scale.
Now Mother I think I have run out of news. Not that there is any real news in this letter. There is so little that one can write and everything goes on so much as usual that is hard to write a newsy letter. Am enclosing some verses. which I got from a chap who came in a draft to our outfit, a particular one of Mrs. Cross I thought they were very good.
Now I will say goodnight as the pancakes are ready. All well as usual. Will write again soon
Love to all from, Harold