26 May, 1917
Dearest Mother -
I wrote you a letter exactly a week ago today, so it is about time I wrote again. It is a hot, sultry day with a sort of haze over everything and not a cloud in the sky. It is now about mid afternoon and I have been sitting here half sleeping and wondering what it might be like at home this p.m. It is getting towards the last of May now and I suppose the garden is in and coming up. Sunday here is like any other day and on May 24th, we carried on as usual. Time passes quickly here and it is often hard to remember day and date.
I am feeling real well except for a slight cold which I got the other day when we had a couple of rainy nights and I was sleeping in a rather damp, musty place. One of the fellows heard indirectly that they had not got any mail from him at home for about three weeks although he had been writing regularly. I hope you get all the cards and letters I have sent. The mail service between England and Canada must be very poor for some reason or other. There doesn't seem to be very much mail coming to the battery these days and most of that is English mail. Your letter of March 27 is still the last I have received.
Is Harold still going to High School or did he quit at Easter? He will have a birthday in a few days now, won't he? We see a few papers now & then. Eng. papers, only a few days old, are brought in occasionally. One evening, there was a loose Brockville Times with no address on it in the mail bag, so I took it myself. There wasn't much in it, but I noticed that it was just about a month more recent than anything I had received from home, it being the paper for Apr. 24. I believe someone told me that a son of the editor of that paper is in this battery so that is probably who the paper had been sent to.
I am writing very few letters now for I can't, for the life of me, figure out much to say. However, as long as you know that I am alright, I guess that is all that is necessary. I owe Wilbert & John Kelly each a nice long letter but would find it difficult indeed to make one up. I wonder how Gladys is getting along. I suppose in another month you will have them all home and then I hope it will be a little easier for you. You must have quite a busy time of it as it is with no one at home at noon. I don't believe I ever told you that out here there is an issue of cigarettes and tobacco every week. It is not a very large issue and sometimes there is extra issues given by patriotic societies in Canada. You know, you have read about the Tobacco Funds and all that in the papers. To the fellows that smoke this stuff, means much. Those of us that don't smoke give ours to those that do. There is also a rum issue nearly every night. It appears to be strong stuff, half a cupful is a very good dose. Down at the wagon lines, when it was so wet and muddy and the fellows would come in after a night out, they would get an issue of this and it is claimed it warms them up and does them good. However, I can say, as you very well know, that I have never yet touched either tobacco or drink.
Well, remember me to Grandma, Aunt Viola, Aunt Bertha, Uncle Jim and others - and best of love to you and Gladys, Harold, Cecil & Arthur.
P.S. This is the paper I got from the Guild you know.