My Dear Mother,
I read your letter dated Mar 12th and had just written to you the day before that and decided to wait till I see another so that it would make things right and I rec one Mar 19th last night and so am answering this morning
I was very glad to hear that all Manitoba [?] dry and also that Belmont did. There is certainly a changed around Belmont since last election and such a big majority.
Last letter you asked me if I needed any drawers or shirts. Well Im wearing drawers at present and the weather is beginning to get warm so I don't really need any in a short time. We have a bath and change of underwear about every two weeks and I really couldn't carry any more in my pack as it is heavy enough now. I have plenty sock but I guess those two pair are on the road by now. I don't need any kneecaps as we do not wear the kilt.
You ask if I carry a blanket in my [?] All our belongings that I own is carried on my back in my pack and regards our blankets. Most of us [?] got any as we used to have to carry them in our pack and we would sooner do without than carry them and we often can secure up one in the trenchs. At present there are three of us in a dugout and we work mostly at night and sleep in the daytime. We are going out of the trenches in a few days altogether back to a [?] for a few days rest. I will write Mrs Smith's mother as soon as I get out of the trenches.
I was very sorry to hear of Mrs McRails health. I'm sure it will go [?] hard on [?] and [?] I had a letter from Frank last night and he seems to be getting along alright. He said there is plenty of snow in Manitoba yet. One the 19th this month we will be two months in France; the line seems to have gone very quickly. We havnt had any yet in the trenches while we were in at alf and it makes it much pleasanter as I can imagine how the first fellows suffered. From the trenches having flooded with water.
I never heard of that [?] or sent [?] but it is a nice place and I will keep the cosy.
I rec the parcel you sent some time ago but not the one you are sending at the time of your letter; but it will get here as it always takes longer for parcels than letters and I've rec every parcel you sent yet.
I guess I told you in my last letter about having plenty of [?] but there are some lads who are short and I will give them a pair or two. You asked me what to send. well eats are the [?] things and all the cake and shortbread that you sent was in excellent condition when it arrived.
I must say that you write very regular and there is a letter nearly twice a week for me only when there is a blockage in the mail and I hope you get all my letters for I write green envelope every week home besides [?] postcards and we only got one green envelope a week which does not have to be censured.
I am very sorry to say that the last bundle of papers arrived just as we were moving away from camp but I [?] them among the [?] If you could send the ' News' to me as I haven't seen one since I landed in France. [?] Leslie gets them but he and Arthur are signalers and Leslie is in a different company and I don't see him very often only back in camp. Well Mother this is about all the news this time. I'm in fine health and hope you are the same. With love to all. Your loving Son James