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Date: April 14th 1915

"D" Co 38th
Niagara-on-the Lake
[?] Fri. 14

Dear Ma,

I intended writing when I came from Toronto but we have been kept pretty busy this week and I haven't had much time for writing.

I went to Toronto Friday night and came back Monday night. We (Yorath from Saskatoon) slept at Walker house Friday night. We had a room with two beds & a bath and we sure enjoyed at a good bath. There is no warm water here only cold showers. I took one of those yesterday and didn't mind it at all, rather liked it.

I phoned Reg. sat morning and we met him at young & king at 1:30 and then went to Alex Theatre and saw "East Lynne" played by Percy Haswell. I suppose you've read the book and know that it is a very sad story.

After the show Reg. and I left Yorath and went to Cousin Marnie's. Uncle Donald had asked us to his place for supper and we didn't get up there till 6:40 p.m. Aunt Ethel is very nice and thinks alot of Reggie. She called him her boy. We left there at 9:30 p.m. Reg. went to the college & I went to Cousin Marnie's. I left a note for Pa at the King Edward. He didn't know I was coming over and I told him in the note to come up to Cousin Marnie's for dinner Sunday noon. Pa got to Toronto early Sunday morning and Reg. & he came up for dinner.

Cousin Marnie has alot of troubles & worries. I was telling them they should be out in the sunny west, where the sun shines most of the time's. I always think of home when I and when I hear of

We stayed at her place all afternoon on Sunday morning I went over and saw Gordon Yauld. He is with Eaton Battery and I think they are coming over here on the 20th. Harvey was out at Mimico for the week end and I didn't see him. He is with the cycle corp and I don't know where they are going. If I go over to Toronto again I'll look him up. Uncle Donald & the 3 of us went to church and heard a fairly good sermon.

Monday morning Pa & I went out to the Russell Motor Car Co. and Cousin Alex took us thro the factory. We saw a number of Armoured motor cars and some nice touring cars.

We got back from the factory about 1:30 p.m. and then had dinner. Pa had an appointment with a C.N.R official at 2:00 and I went to a show for an 1 hr & a half and met Pa & Reg at the Hotel at 4. I left Toronto at 5 p.m. for here. Pa & Reg. came down to the boat.

It was nice to be in the city for a few days but I like to be among the fellows. We have pulled together so far and we do alot of fooling and have quite a bit of fun. We argue & discuss matters of international importance. Right now Arthur P. & Sparling are arguing who is the best the English sportsman or Canadian.

It is now 7:00 p.m. and the band is playing. Yorath has just stuck his head under the tent and says "there is more crabbing in this tent than any other in the camp." We do it all in fun. One fellow disagrees with the other for sake of argument and we all join in the discussion.

Tues. we were on the long ranges. I did pretty good at 100 yds but not so well at 200 yds. My gun was sight at 500 yds an I only made 18 out of 35. The two fellows who shot after me and used the same gun made 8 and 2. I think I could do much better next time we go out. Wed. We had some skirmishing and practiced field manoeuvres. We took up a position on A knoll and the Toronto O.T.C bunch were the attacking party. It was a sham battle without blank ammunition. We won on points. The O.T.C fellows pulled off a couple of poor movements. In the afternoon we were skirmishing and the Barracks was the attacking point. Skirmishing consists in keeping out of sight of the enemy. We run a few paces and then fall flat. On Thursday in the morning we will were inspected by General Lessard, Commander of forces in Canada. He is as high in Command as Col. Sam Hughes if not higher. He complimented us and said we were the best company he has reviewed in his inspection tour. In the afternoon the Duke of Connaught reviewed us and we marched past better than in the morning. It was rather a hard day, very monotonous standing on up so long.

Capt. Barclay is greatly pleased with us and we'll do anything for him. We certainly have a splendid lot of officers. Pa bought me a camera in Toronto and I took two films, some of the fellows and one of Capt. Barclay, another of our lieut., Mr. Wanklyn. I'll send you some if the turn out all right. To-day, friday, we had a real [? shaw?] battle, and we marched about 12 miles.

The McGill O.T.C. fellows took up a position and the Toronto bunch & ourselves were the attacking forces. Our Capt. Thought our a clever scheme by which we could close them off. But we had to do some very fast marching to do so. McGill was in a difficult position to get at. There The only way was over a bridge on both each sides. We had to march away around behind them and the Toronto advanced before them. The main body of our Company didn't fire any shells. It was our position that gave our side the day. The Duke was watching the movements in a motor car. He passed us a couple of times.

This kind of thing is very useful for it is the what is used most in the war. There is a certain excitement about it that we got to become used to. Col. Sam Hughes and Gen. Lessard as well as the Duke passed along while we were advancing.

The news or rather rumour to-day is that we are going to Valcartier in a week or two. In the meantime we are going to stay here. We haven't anything definite yet. I'll let you know as soon as we do.

I got a letter from Mrs. Hunter & one from Lily to-day. Lily writes a good letter-too bad about her sore leg. I got your letter yesterdays but haven't it here and can't answer any questions you may have asked. I'll read it (your letter) over again before closing this.

We passed thro some very beautiful scenery to-day. We notice the large trees and the green fields, the little creeks here & there.

We are getting used to marching and will soon be tough and in the best of condition.

Fri. Sat. 15.

I didn't finish this last night and will now. To-day all the Canadian officers' training corps has left and our company is the only one left. They took down all their tents and the band also has gone. We miss them and it seems funny to be the only fellows here but we will have good time by ourselves till the other soldiers arrive from Toronto. The Eaton Battery will be here on the 20th.

I don't know how long we will be here. There is nothing definite just a that rumour and it was in the "Mail & Empire" (A Toronto Paper) that we are going to Valcartier in the near future. I hope not although it would be the best time to go there.

I must close now. I got the slippers and thought at first sight they were new ones. You got them fixed up. I'm glad you sent me the little book "Daily Food", and will read it. I got a letter from [? Harry?] to-day and he told me that Dan Mar. was all right. We are complimented by all officers on our good company.

Love to all

your son


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