France Feb 21/17 Dear Dad;- I just got out of bed about half an hour ago to have dinner. We were on a fatigue east night from 4:30 p.m to 3 a.m We left the huts at 4.30pm. and marched down to headquarters they kept us waiting there for an hour and a half. While we were waiting, I took a walk up the road. After I had gone about 100 yards, I met Wes. All his company were on fatigue too. Wes had on a rain cape which he found and he looked more like a Brigadier General than a rear rank private. About 6.15 our transports came along. Yes, we were going to have a ride. There were not enough wagons to carry everybody so fifty were taken off each company and sent home. The rest of us were told to pile into the wagons. Ten on a wagon would have been plenty. We had seventeen in ours and twenty were supposed to get in. That was some ride in a transport wagon at night over the cobblestones of France. That last was the part that pained, for we were sitting on the edge of the wagon and we felt every bump. A fatigue party at night always has interesting parts to it. You are continually trying to keep your bearings which at most times is not the easiest thing in the world to do. When you are in a trench on a dark cloudy night you can't possibly tell which way is which. I mean when you are going through a trench for the first time of course there is nothing to it after you have been over the place a few times. The trenches were we now are, are all new to us. After getting off the transports, we walked through a number of trenches for about an hour and a half. We were now at the scene of operations there were about 500 filled sandbags down in a dugout and 9 of us had to carry these up into the trench and then over the parapet and empty them. Five of us made a chain up the stairs and passed them up to the top. The other four carried them away, and it didn't take so very long to finish and work. That was all we had to do so we started back for the transports and got there at 1.30 a.m. There was another party of eight there, so we all got into one wagon and came home. Mason and I piled into bed about three and stayed there till dinner time. When we got back we were wet half way up to our knees but there are no ill effects visible things that would lay us up in civilian life only tighten us up in the army. You can't get sick in the army. Leonard has gone away on a course for about four weeks I guess he'll just be out of the trenches when the wet weather is on. All our snow disappeared about a week ago. It is getting on for three now and we have to leave in about an hour and a half so I'll have to get it ready. My puttees have about half an inch of mud on them and also my trousers. Little things like that don't count now but do you remember how Hennie and I used to scrape even the smallest bit of mud off our clothes when we first got our uniforms. Our platoon sergeant has just been taking our trade, age, date of arrival in France and about a dozen other things. That is a usual occurance and I've given my history about a dozen times. Remember me to all. I'll write Cliff next. Your loving son Gordon.