291494 C. Coy.
19th Reserve Batt'n C.E.F.
Army Post Office
January 5 /17
My Dear Betty:-
I have been waiting a few days until we were settled again in our new camp & until I could get the name of the Battalion to which we now belong which you will notice above.
Well the 222nd is no more = We sent 450 to France on the 29th Dec to reinforce the C.M.R's and the 44th Canadian Battalion, My I was sorry to see them go & not be going with them. The remainder of 222 along with the 196th (University Battalion) & another battalion have been ammalagated & now form the 19th Reserve Battalion C.E.F. which is 2000 strong, & is to be used to reinforce Battalions at the Front. We are losing our Colonel & most of our officers, & do not know yet how we who are Serg'ts will get along, neither do I know how the change is going to effect my chances of commission, one thing I have made up my mind to, & that is - if I do not hear something very soon I shall revert to the ranks in order to go with the next Draft to France. The place we are at now is a large camp than Shorchem, a lot worse for mud, & they are working the men from morning till night. For the past week I have been doing clerical work in the Quarter-Master's Office, but I'm going to get out as I do not like it. Am receiving your letters dear O.K, have just received No 12 & 13 in which you tell me of [?] & Percy Hardman's death I'm sorry for them about the Furnace while I think of it - try keeping all the drafts in the front closed, also bank up with ashes if necessary - it might pay you to get a load of coke, I do hope you are warm.
I thought & thought of you all at Xmas & New Years I believe that long before end of this year we shall have peace again - there is a growing feeling over here, everywhere that 6 months will see it over, let hope it will prove true - I can not begin to tell you of what we see & know of things over here, but you might well be thankful that you are in Canada = If God spares me to return I shall be quite content to stay there.
I'm very - very sorry to hear of my little boy - my little Billy being so naughty, tell him that Daddy is hurt & I want him to be good - Am wondering when I shall have the time to write you a longer letter = we do not have much spare time here - Oh I received the other night the parcel from Emerson - it was badly broken & about half the contents lost - so if you send anything be sure & wrap it well & sew it up in cloth or sacking. I have been thinking that it is your birthday dear sometime this Month - let me know dear & I do wish you many happy returns of the day, & assure you of my hearts best love & hope that soon God willing we shall be reunited. Remember me to all the friends - love to you Mother & lots to your self & the kiddies? How much money are you getting per month? Good Bye for now sweetheart
Your loving Husband
Betty xxxxxxxx Shirley xxxxxxxxx Billy xxxxxxx