A.Coy. 19th Reserve Battalion C.E.F
c/o Army Post Office
Feb 17 /17
My Dear Betty:
I received your letter No 27 yesterday, the mails are a little more irregular now owing I suppose to submarine activity - there have been several small coasting vessels torpedoed just off the coast here one yesterday morning was sunk just outside the harbour bar "Newhaven" we often hear the guns firing at them. Was sorry to hear that you had been having trouble with the Patriotic Allowance but hope that it is alright now. See Mr Kennedy at once if you have any difficulty. You will know ere this that I received & enjoyed your first two parcels & am looking forward to the other. No 3. Don't send any more dry-goods until I let you know as I am pretty well off for socks & hanky's. Well I suppose the next two or three months is going to be an eventful time - a history making & destiny deciding period. I am still being kept here but I fancy that by the time that you get this I may be in France, I think it will take every available man; however you are not to worry dear Betty. We are in God's keeping & "He knoweth the way that we take". Tell dear Shirley that she is getting to be quite a little letter writer & not to cry if Auntie Mattie does not bother much about her, She is Daddy's little sweetheart & we'll have a great time together when I return home. I am sending Billy & Shirley some more cards you will get a good idea of what the country is like here - such quaint old villages. I think that I told you Alfriston is the place where Kink Alfred was supposed to have burnt the cakes, they must be getting quite a collection of picture post cards now. If I were you I would try & get a cord or two of wood (slabs) in & you myst not leave getting your fuel until fall or winter. The weather here is milder now, & I think we are going to get a rainy spell. Don't I just wish that I could walk in on you all & take you by surprise, however "Please God" if will come some-day. I suppose that you will have a visit from Ruby by now I do hope that she will get better. I need not say anything about the Food Situation here, you will see what it is like I suppose by the papers - sugar is a great luxury now - we have molasses for our porridge & brown sugar for tea & coffee, it is a long-long time since I saw white or refined sugar. Potatoes are $80°° per ton & meat Why when I was in Sheffield I took home a small leg of mutton & paid 45 cents a pound for it. I have forgotten the taste of pure wheaten bread & often long for a slice of your home made. You must not imagine however that we are not getting enough to eat - we have plenty & I think I am getting fat on it. I have given up all expectation of my commission at least on this side of the water - & from all that I see & hear about them I cannot help but think that I am better off as I am.
Kiss my kiddies for me, tell how pleased I am to hear from them, & to hear of them being so good - Don't let anyone run run on my little daughter. Best & fondest love dear heart God bless & keep you