Sunday 24 June 1917
Dearest Mother -
Did you get the letter I wrote last week alright? Since then I have received no more letters from you but how could I expect to when I have received so many from you lately. But, would you believe it - I have received two parcels in that time, also Gladys's letter of May 6. Those are the first parcels that have reached me since I got to France and believe me they were both pretty nice. Neither one was the one from Rev. W.W. Purvis but I mustn't keep you waiting as I suppose you are wondering whom they were from. The first one came last Tues - was a parcel of about seven pounds weight - from Brockville (J.S.). It was mailed on May 8 so made very good time. In it were a pair of sox, some chewing gum, a flask of maple syrup (this flask was made so that anything could be heated in it without danger of breaking it), a package of raisins, another of dates, a little candy, a tin of Campbell's soup, and a pencil with a few envelopes and some paper. One of the envelopes was self addressed. It was evident that an immediate answer was desired so I sent one next day, telling what I thought of parcel, etc. You will probably wonder at my getting such a parcel from such a source (by the way, I believe there is another on its way, sent about six weeks previously) but I believe she has more than one friend at the front in whom she takes an interest, and like other girls I have heard about, she seems to make much of the soldier part of it - anyone at the front fighting seems to appeal. By the way, she has often said she would like to meet my sister. If Wilbert wants Gladys to go to B.B. with him some day for a trip, she would have that chance.
The other parcel came last night and was from Aunt Lettie. It was the parcel she spoke of in her letter of a week ago and came thru in good time as it was mailed on May 20. This contained some lovely fruit cake, some cookies, a tin of sardines, a little bottle of honey, a handkerchief, some gum, a pr. of sox and a cake of chocolate. Very nice was it not?
Weather has been a little wet and cooler lately but nice today. I am back at the waggon lines again now for a little while. You will remember that I had been looking for J. Greig when down here before, but had not found him and that I had had a note from him just after I went up to guns. A few days before I came back here, he found our wagon lines and was enquiring for me. He came again last night and we met at last. He seems to be real well - has been at front just about a year now with guns almost all the time - has never been wounded but naturally is rather sick & tired of it all. He is a sergeant, you know, and has often been acting sergeant-major.
You remember you wrote on May 24 and asked if that was an anniversary of my coming to this country. This is exactly a month later but not quite the anniversary. The early morning of June 21st is date you want.
A propos of what I was talking about - top of page 2 (I wonder if Gladys ever told you), but Gladys thinks quite a bit of her brother out here and all the photos of me she has (there seems to have been more than two or three), she used to put up in conspicuous places on her bureau at Ottawa. Her chum at school was apparently fascinated(?) by these and by glowing (and greatly exaggerated) accounts of "my clever brother" Gladys used to regale her with. She must have one of these pictures so, as Gladys would not part with one, she needs must help herself to one. She has also written to me two or three times and sent a picture of herself which I asked her for. That is another example of this sort of hero worship I spoke of.
Gladys will likely be at home when you get this. Please let this letter do for both you and her. Tell her I got her letters of May 20 and May 6. I have written rather lightly, I hope not foolishly but you will surely judge from this that I am feeling well in health and am not having such a bad time just now at all. And, of course, I love my sister but I feel I do not deserve all the pride she has in me. It should make me strive to really earn it. Very best of love to you, dear mother.