January 27th. 18
My Dear Mother:-
After our evening meal which was not of such quantity as to tax our energy in the digestive process I will write you a few lines. This has been a lovely day, just like summer and all considered the past week has been very fine. This morning we had a church parade at 9.00 o'clock and since then I have put in the day reading old copies of the 'Sat. Evening Post' and playing a few games of "500". The Canadian mail came in this week but so far there has been none for me from home. Last night the mail Cpl. left a box at the hut addressed to Pte. R. Cousins. It wasn't mine but as it had evidently travelled far and had been at three addresses in search of its owner to no avail we commandeered its contents, comprising a cake, two tins of cocoa and two tins of milk chocolate. The cake tasted fine and the chocolate was a real treat. As some of the boys have mail from Regina dated January 5th there should be a few letters for me tomorrow. You cannot imagine how eagerly everyone anticipates the Canadian mail for here we get so few news from Canada. I seldom ever read an English paper. The Canadian Weekly - a magazine and the Canadian Daily Record give us a few of the more important happenings in Canada, but a letter means so much more.
Our old Regina is getting badly broken up - even so soon. Strand, who was formerly a rancher on the Sask. Montana boundary went to No. 4 Co. as short run driver. Armstrong to No. 6 Co. as a signaller, Morrison to the Hospital for six weeks - long enough to miss our draft to France. Stremes who stayed as a Cyclist is in the hospital at Eastbourne with pleuro-pneumonia - Denham in the same hospital for some operation - MacCall the parson is in the hospital at Brighton with a sprained ankle. Newman, a Regina boy, is in also with some foot trouble. However, Reid and I are still going good. I don't think either of us has ever paraded sick since we joined the army. Our draft leave should come now in about six weeks. I hope you get my money over in time.
Reid has a brother in the 49th Batt. as [a] Lewis gunner and today he had a letter from him saying that he was just back to the front from sixteen days Xmas leave. It seems too bad for he was in London at the same time we were there but as they did not know each other's movements did not meet.
MacCormac and I are getting a chance with the Depot Rugby team and I hope we get on. They go to London next Saturday to play the South Africans. Had two basketball games this week. We beat the Gymnastic staff team on Wednesday but got properly trimmed 42-13 on Friday by the 1st Reserve. We missed Mac who is our best player. I had two big fellows, each two hundred pounders on top of me all the game and was only able to get three baskets. Storrey, our other forward, is also small and was mauled badly. We hope to get back at them next game. The Depot takes a great interest in athletics and every game we play means a full or half day at least off parade. It also helps one to get acquainted. Mac's ankle wasn't hurt very badly and he will be back on parade again tomorrow.
Well, I guess I'll close for now. Hope you are all well. With kindest regards.
#2233344 Pte. F. Cousins
No. 1 Co. Can. Machine Gun Depot,