Belgium, May 13, 1916
Received your letters and 3 parcels OK and certainly was pleased to receive them. I have been very busy lately and had some experience. You say I am a lot fatter in the picture. Gee you ought to see me now. You seem to think I have an awful load to carry. But that is only 3 parts of it. I certainly can stand some awful knocking around. We were in trenches for 16 days counting Reserves and Front Line and am out for 16 days rest as they call it. I think when 58 comes back, Ray will be saying "My Archie isn't there". It only takes one small bullet. It is too bad about Ray being sick. I hope he never stutters. Too bad about Mrs. McArthur. Gee there seems to be a lot of fellows enlisting. I can tell them something and I hope from the bottom of my heart Ronnie never gets here. You want to know what to send me. Well biscuits or cake - anything to eat and all kinds Keatings. This is some place for lice! Good night! I have seen Percy Veale twice and Steve Mould once. You ask me if I were scared when I first went in trenches. Well no I wasn't. I thought nobody could wish for a better place until I seen wounded fellows and fellows getting killed along side of me and have to pick up pieces and put them in a blanket for to be buried. War is no joke. I have been hit 5 times but not serious. It was shrapnel. I was hit 4 times in a battle where your girl's friend was wounded. All Canadian battalions are here together. I was buried in, too, covered clean up once and my friends dug me out. So you can imagine how I like warfare but don't think I don't get back at them. They shelled us hard for 2 hours and tried to take our trench. When they come over the parapet believe me I put bullets and bombs into them as fast as I could but they didn't get our trench. We were only 35 yards apart so you know how quick we act. Poor old Fritz dead men lay in No Mans Land all that night and next day. We only got 15 prisoners. Two were officers. I went after them and I was so excited I didn't know what to do only give it to them. So you think 58 isn't in those battles? Well I am glad to be on this side of the firing line anyway but would sooner be at [censored].
Your affec. bro. Archie
PS I received 2 letters from Pa last night. I met Ron Meek (cousin). I am sending his photo to Pa.
Belgium, May 13, 1916