Search The Archive

Search form

Collection Search
Date: July 1917



July 1917


Dear Marie;


Received your letter of July 12/17 on Aug 6/17. Pretty near as long in coming as mine was in going to you. The mail recently has been very irregular in delivery. Due I think to the enormous amount of munitions and food which come before anything else.


Thank you so much Marie, for troubling to get me an English-French dictionary, if possible, I want to make myself understood when conversing with the people, and as you knew French I thought you would know what I would need, that is why I asked you Marie


I sure have a soft spot in my heart for my little “Sweety Heart” right from the first time I met the kiddy. She is my little girl.


That picture you (I just noticed Ive been writing with the bottom of the paper to the top.) received from me makes me out to be thin, but in reality I am fuller and heavier than I have ever been.


Yes I suppose I have changed a little, I have been in France nearly thirteen months and the wear & tear of life out here is bound to make a change, (in my case for the better)


What surprises me Marie is that big strapping men, regular perfect specimans of physical manhood often times go to pieces, fall sick and sometimes die from the same thing as I'm putting up with., Here am I and others thriving & growing out here while others pine away and eventually become unfit for Service. This shows that you cant tell by looking at the man, circumstances prove it to be so. Peculiar isn't it


The only thing wrong with me is Catarrh which is common out here.


I was out for a walk through the country today with my fiend Frank, and as we were walking along we began discussing, & looking back to our life in barracks, which naturally enough, led to our menu at the exhibition we used to enter complaints against our diet when back there, but when I think of what we were or rather are eating now & think of the really substantial meals at barracks at home. I think how foolish we were. Why in Canada for our midday meal we received roast beef or fish stakes, potatoes corn or peas, tea or coffee soup or gravy something along those lines & jam or cake, and mind you we complained. If I was back there now I'd eat bacon & beans and not kick, if I ate them for duration. However I'm grousing which I don't usually do.


So you have a garden in your back yard; lots of vegetables. I used to be persnickety about raw tomatoes I'm not any more I'd sure make a perfect pig of myself if I had a basketfull in front of me now. We can get tomatoes out here, it cost about 1 fr. for about 4 tomatoes, we only get 15 fr. every two weeks, prices are high, and the majority of us, two or three days after pay are financially embarrased


A lot of the boys inhabit the Estaminets, say I'll bet the French people who run them, don't want the war to end, they are making a fortune out of the troops.


I do so hope Eleanor has a good time I certainly like Eleanor don't you, and I'm glad she is stopping at home with dad & mother, because it will make things brighter at home for them. What do you know about it, so the St. Railway have struck, for higher wage do you think they were justified in striking or were they wrong.


I think at the outside that it (the war) will be over sometime next Spring, I thoroughly believe we'll have to put another winter in, to convince the Germans they have played their last card.


It has been raining & raining off and on for about two weeks, hampering operations somewhat. However it appears to be clearing up and getting hot again which I can put up with fine.


How is Mrs. Ross & Elsie etc keeping remember me to them


I'll close.


Give my love to Auntie Kate, Uncle Henry Vic and “my kiddy” how's the dog keeping too?


Love Joe.



Pte. J. G. Sproule

8th Can. M. G. Coy.




P.S. By the way I'm going on leave to Paris, in a few weeks time. That will be fine, 10 days leave in 13 months, it is due me isn't it.

Original Scans

Original Scans