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Date: June 12th 1915


June 12th 1915


My own dear wife


It never rains but it pours, after waiting so long to hear from you I have at last received no less than six letters from you & a bundle of papers, all in two days, I guess they must have been held up in England through our being shifted about so much, they did not know for certain where we were, however, I think I will get your letters regularly now, the Battalion is getting re-organized & things are getting into better shape than when we came here first, you know we can get our mail right in the trenches, & I dont think there is anything in the world that cheers a man up so much as a letter from home, especially when he has been lying in a trench for several days under heavy fire from the enemy, all his nerves working & afraid to go to sleep for fear of gas & all the time sitting tight unable to fire a shot in return, life in the trenches is pretty rotten, but I think the reserve trenches are the worst for they are continually being shelled, we have been in & out of the reserves now for the last two weeks & are in them again now, for my part I would rather be in the front trench or firing line as they do not get shelled so much as the others, that is because they are so close to the German line & they are afraid of killing their own men, you know, that the German line is only about 80 or 100 yards from ours, in fact they are so close that on a still night we can hear them talking. During the day is the time we get our sleep as it would be absolute suicide for either party to attack in daylight as we are so close to each other & the machine guns would cut down everything before them. Of course we have sentries posted all the time in case of gas or any movement. Night is the time we dread, as all the fighting is done at night, everyone is on the alert & all ready to jump into it at a moments notice, the Germans throw flares up into the sky every few minutes that light up the whole place & when these lights are up everyone either stands perfectly still or lies flat on the ground as it is dangerous to move then, the gas is the thing we dread most of all, as it puts a man out of business like a shot if he is not prepared for it, but we are pretty well protected from it, there is one thing, we can always see it coming along the ground & another thing is, they cant use it unless the wind is coming our way, otherwise it would blow back on themselves, you need not send the vinegar, dear, as we carry respirators which are soaked in a chemical & these cover the mouth & nose & are tied on, if we get these on in time there is absolutely no danger whatever except for a little soreness of the eyes & a prickly feeling of the skin. We expect to get out of the trenches soon now & go into billets for a rest, not that our bodies are tired, but our nerves require it, also we need a good clean up as we have no chance to wash & the most of the boys are lousy with not getting their clothes changed, we dont be out long though for the usual routine is, a week in the trenches & 4 or 5 days out. There are lots of things I would like to tell you about this war, but of course I cant, for if I put anything in that did not suit the censor, you might not get my letters, however, If I do not write I will still send you a pc. every few days so that you will know that I am all right. I am glad to hear that Vernon is getting the soldiers this summer, it will help the town out a lot. I had a P.C. from Arthur Edwards from Vancouver, he tells me his regt is going to Vernon, he is lucky - I wish I was back. I am surprised at your not getting your money regular & the full amount, by all means write about it & try to get it, you are entitled to it, I assigned 1750 to you & you should also get 2000 besides what you get from the Patriotic fund. I have not met your brother yet but am keeping a lookout for him. I must close now dear as I have not much to say, except to send you all my love & to tell you that I am thinking about you all the time & I hope this thing will soon be over so that we can get together again, so with fondest love to you, darling, & to our dear children, God bless them, I remain your loving Husband





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