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Date: March 31st 1917


My Dear Mother:

Just a few words again to say Im still on the map as the saying goes, enjoying the fresh air and warm sunshine, which I guess you will be beginning to feel now too. Just a warning not to get out in the garden too soon and get your death of cold.

Things have been very quiet and ordinary since I last wrote and as usual have not much to tell you.

Was surprised to hear of Percy Gelson back home again. Just saw him a year ago in the trenches then. I guess he will remember. And Bill Hutchins, I saw him on our way to the Somme last August. I thought Percy Blackmore was discharged. I think I remember Marion telling me that, and you say he just left. What is he in?

I suppose Ethel Pickard and he ought to be engaged by this time. What do you say?

Saw Orvil a few days ago, He is doing some work on a tooth of mine which developed an abscess. Its better now though. Perhaps Id have had it pulled instead if I didn’t know him. Such to the workings of the Army from the lowest to the highest, every day in the year.

Allan Keith is now out here. I saw him a week ago. He told me about some of the boys in the old section who had returned to Canada.

I am not much interested in Ghent, whom you inform me of. He doesn’t come up to the standards of etiquette, observed by men. In other words he’s a cod. But don’t grieve his mother, its not her fault I imagine.

Do you ever see Fred Baker and what is he doing?

 So you think the war will be over this fall? All the troops are hopeful but personally I think it will last longer. I couldn’t begin to tell you why I think so, that would be against all rules and regulations, but it is just my opinion.

The parcels arrive regularly. #15 was the last, with the shirt in it. Clean underwear is a difficult problem in the army, especially with those of my rank, and yet there is a tremendous waste. From my own experience underclothes are worn into holes and are useless before they can be washed, and the idea of putting on other mens underwear never appealed to me although Ive often done it.

There is great activity in the air these days and just recently have seen three fall in flames and many others fall like a shooting star. I witnessed a fight with 16 of theirs and 8 of ours which lasted for about 20 minutes. It is thrilling and exciting to watch from the ground. What it must be for the participants. Can you imagine? And I have no doubt they enjoy it. It’s a gamble with death entirely a gamble.

I havent seen any shells marked M and E. Does Marian wear those uniforms, consisting of mens overalls and coat for her work. The London Bus girls wear short skirts to the knees (perhaps a little below.) high boots and a tunic (green) and slouch hat to match. But these women coal heavers and engine cleaners I never saw. No doubt women are playing a big part though in munitions at home and in England. More power to them. Perhaps the next offensive will need more shells than the Somme. If they keep up the supply there is men and guns here to keep on sending them over. And let me tell you nearly every one is happy when Fritz draws back.

I think before the war is finished the U.S will be in for the last kick to save their face and grace. Too bad they couldn’t see their position in 1914. And I think it would be an eye opener to some of these American Colonels to find their Divisions wouldn’t hold much more than the length of a few city blocks. They might then realize the colossalness of the affair and how much they owed to the Allies.

Oh yes I longed to tell you about the soap. It is very good indeed and my face shines with a cleanliness envied by the rest. I was really surprised to that you could make such good soap to, but we can buy soap here for a nickel Mother, so why fill up the parcel, where eats can take the same place.

Had a letter from Joe the other day. He is still training with the tanks and likes it quite well.

A few days ago I got six letters in the mail, the first Canadian mail in a month. Two from you and one or two others.

How is Eudora coming along. Since I spoke to her about what Orvil said her letter was, she has deceived before me her notice I believe I’ll take a stick to her when I get back

With love to all,

Your affectionate son


Kind regards to all these young ladies that ring up on the phone. Im so busy I have not time to answer there call.

(What does Morse code say to that) KoHa[?]

Original Scans

Original Scans