Belgium Feb 10 1916 Dear Father and Mother:- Your letter of the 23 Jan together with Agnes, Eudora's and William's received yesterday. It was a big Canadian mail and I came out good with seven the most Ive had for years and years. Its quite a big order to write a little to each in reply so will just tell you all the general happenings around here. I hope Marion is better now and feeling bright and happy again. Am looking forward to her News from Home and hope it comes soon. The last one was good and we all had a good laugh over it. This is the second day out and am living in the huts which Ive described to you before. The weather is colder a little but every day brings spring nearer. The ground shows signs of beginning to dry. Our last trip in was pretty much the same as usual although each trip in shows a certain livliness over that of the preceding trip. Ray Jarvis is sick in hospital but is not serious. Orvil is sick also, and Mac is on special leave in London, which he won by going out on patrol over and into the German lines. He was together with about 5 other men, bombers, and the bombing officer. The idea was to get a prisoner but at that particular point their line was in such a frightful condition mud and water, that it was apparently unoccupied. He deserves his leave and we were all glad to see him get it. Another patrol the following night went out and unfortunately were observed. The livliest fight followed and although everybody got back alright, we were beginning to think something out of the ordinary was about due, but nothing really happened except that the poor hun showed the severe nervous strain he was undergoing by keeping up a ceaseless rifle fire the whole night and for three nights following, until they were relieved. We didn't fire a shot which certainly didn't improve his nerves at all. The air fights are also more lively and frequent than before. The German has a new monoplane name the "Fokker" which is exceedingly fast, making a maximum speed of 130 miles per hour and a minimum of 70. They fly very very high and at times can hardly be distinguished. Their pilots however are not of the same stamp as ours. Ive seen them turn tail and run frequently. It is intensley interesting to watch a duel, how they will manouver, fire their machine guns, you can hear them down below, sometimes they make a long gradual dive to the ground and others will turn and go back. Ive seen as many as 22 of our planes all together these anti aircraft shells breaking all about them, evidently returning from a raid on somewhere. Talking of raids, yesterday a Fokker dropped a bomb about 50 yds from our tent, it let in the open field and did not damage. Agnes' letter was very interesting especially her work in the [?] kitchen. I wonder how her patients would appreciate a stew I made the other day, about a dozen potatoes, a tin of army rations, 4 tins bully beef, 12 cubes oxo, half loaf of bread and a fair quantity of Belgian mud. We actually debated in all seriousness whether we should put a tin of sardines we had in it or not, but the majority won and the sardines were kept out. Your mention of chicken, tomatoe salad, Lemon sherbert rolls etc seems preposterous. I had begun to think there was nothing in the world except bully beaf bread jam and tea, and if your patients were served on the latter fare there would be less sickness. Why, look at us, we're all healthy and getting fat, suffering privations and exposure. Say, on the quiet though, send a parcel of eats like the last one, a little butter, a few sodas and perhaps a tin or so of sardines. You know just supposing you were going to a picnic which would you take along. Well, that just what we'd like. Mac likes parcels to, as for the socks I really don't need them, Mac can use them. Orvil does not need them. The linen shirts are good but they don't help the bugs any. My body and legs are simply speckled with bites, but after wearing it a couple of weeks it makes a good cloth to oil and clean the gun and rifle or the clean one's mess tin after a meal. Agnes was saying something about a parcel from Tuckets. I see loads and loads of their stuff out here. They certainly are doing a good business but personally I don't care for their tobacco or smokes. Don't tell jack or Bessie this will you. Anyway I like Canadian Players in packages of ten every now and again about as well as any, in fact even better than the very expensive cigarettes. Nearly every one out here smokes a virginia cigarette in preference to an Egyptian or Turkish and of the virginia the players is preferred by most. There is not much more to ramble on about at present so will bring this to a close. I heard a bomb the Parliament Bldgs too bad. Your affectionate son. John. P.S. Kind regards to Edna Spence, Fred Baker, Jack and Bessie and the rest.