Search The Archive

Search form

Collection Search
Date: November 10th 1916
Sydney Reay

I think I had better get busy now and answer some of the Cobourg letters that I have received. Am writing from the Y.M.C.A. and the fellows are all the time crowding in and getting in the light. Maybe you have heard before this that we have moved to another camp, which of itself is O.K. We could not wish for any better, but we are nine miles from any town of any size.

The Y.M.C.A. has just started up and is doing its best to liven things up. They are having a concert on Friday night. The Y.M.C.A. have certainly done a lot of good amongst the troops and we would not want to do without them. One cannot praise them too much. There are thirty-four huts among us all and they hold about twenty-four men each. They are very comfortable. We have every convenience excepting baths. There are only about six among us and they work overtime. As for our washing, women from the village come out and collect it. Their charges are very moderate. The meals we get are very good. Only as usual, we cannot get enough, no matter if we have our plates full. I guess soldiers' appetites can never be satisfied. What do you think of that?
Besides ourselves, there are some Australians and South Africans here but no English. The South Africans brought over two monkeys as mascots. Believe me they are very comical. One could stand and watch them for hours and laugh. These monkeys are like kittens and play all day long and never seem to tire. They are quite tame. Their owner is going to give them to us if we go away to another camp. We are sure to accept them too.

It gets cold here at nights and in the mornings. This morning there was ice in the fire pails which stand just outside the huts. It is a great sight seeing the boys going to church - the South Africans, then the Australians, who are a fine bunch of men, and then the good old Canadians. I was on duty last Sunday and could not go, but I saw them off. The Cobourg Worlds which I have received are now going the rounds of the Cobourg boys. Thanks for them.

Hoping all are well.
Canadian Siege Reserves, Stowlongtoft near Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England.