H195561 Pte. J. F. Watson
“D” Coy Q.O.C.H. of Canada
Canadian Army Overseas
Dear Andy & Nellie
I got your letter the other day and was sure glad to hear from you. I also got your bags you sent me, thanks a million. Bags are something that are really appreciated over here by the boys. The mail is taking a long time to come over these days.
How are you all feeling these days? I hope you are all feeling well. Me, I’m feeling as stiff as a board. As you can see by my address above that I have moved from the holding unit to the field. I am in the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlander of Canada that’s what the Q.O.C.H. stands for. So far it seems to be a good fit. I’ve only been with the regiment for two weeks now. We no sooner got to the regiment when we had a nice long route march of about 14 miles and I think the C.O. maped the route to take us over every hill for a radius of 14 miles because we were either climbing up or climbing down. We had to join the company at a certain time and place. We thought we were just out for a route march but it turned out to be a five day scheme and sleep aka…the trus and run and crawl all day. It was hard for me the first day till I got back to the old way again and got used to it. Our first night out my chum and I thought we would sleep together and have 6 blankets to sleep with instead of 3 as it would be a lot warmer. Well I guess he thought he needed the blankets worse than I did because when I woke up here I was sleeping on the bare ground and nothing but my underwear on and raining cats and dogs Well he got wet too but not so much as I did. Our clothes were all wet and we had to wear them because our other uniform was back in the billets. The next 3 nights weren’t bad we put our ground sheets together and made a link with them and it worked pretty good.
Our billets aren’t bad but we have to sleep on the floor with a straw-tick. We aren’t allowed to make a fire in the fire-place because of the shortage of coal. And when we get up in the morning it is pretty cold.
How is the weather back home Andy? Is it still mild out? Over here we are having swell weather for the past week it has been sunny all the time. We are right on the coast the south coast and we see Jerry coming over the channel on some of his nuisance raids but lately he hasn’t been coming over so much this last couple of days. He comes so slow to the water dock it looks like a motor-boat coming for all it’s worth. I have only heard one air raid at night over the town we are in. When we were out on the scheme old Jerry came over at about 8 oclock and I was one of the point markers on a compass march the coy had and Jerry dropped a flare over the area we were in and it lit up the whole place just like day time. If it wasn’t for that flare I don’t think the fellows would have found the point if it wasn’t for that flare going up. If they had kept on going they would have passed right by me.
The town we are in isn’t bad but it has more amusements and shows than the last town had that we were in. This place is more modern too. All along the water-front is big modern hotels but most of them are full of soldiers billeted there. And the women are better looking too. I guess Dad was telling you I had a girl friend over here. Well she ain’t bad and she isn’t bad looking. She is short and to go with that she has a very short nose so I call her puggy. I called that one night when I met her in the station on my way home. I never made a date with her for this night and I had my balmoral on and she never rec-ognized me. She was first about to tell me off when we recognized me. She don’t like me with it on. Well myself I think I’ll get me a girl up in Scotland. They are more like the Canadian girls at home so are all the scotch people. They give the canucks a better time up in Scotland than the Limeys do. Even the limey soldier admits that. I had a swell time up in Scotland, in Glasgow when I was up there on leave. I never spent much money so I’m heading that way again. Our relations are really nice up there. Dad told me never to drink any liquor while I was up there. And the first thing I got when I got home to Davis Watson house was a good slug of whiskey. Then Dave took me all over Glasgow showing me around and we passed a pub and he says would I like a beer so I said sure and we hoofed it into the pub. I also had the honour of drinking in the oldest pub in Glasgow. It was so darn small you had to go outside to change your mind. I was at a couple of pantomines up there and got well lit up. I had more fun tho up at Dad’s old girl friend. She is a nurse now. Her husband was always kidding her about how fat she was. So I told her she wasn’t fat she was just pleasantly plump. Boy she’ll never live that down. I had breakfast in bed at her place. When I got up there again the fellow that stays at her place is going to take us through the clyde shipyards. I’m going to make darn sure he does. I’m going to write and ask Mary if I can stay at her place for my leave she is lots of fun and a darn good cook. I was around to see Jimmy Resbit in Govan and his sister Chiasie I had lunch at their place and Jimmy took me over to see Mary & George. I got some pictures of my own Mother from them. I met Aunt Maggie the first night I spent in Glasgow and right off the bat she starts talking broad scotch. So me, I’ve got a sense of humor too I gave out with a bit of scotch myself and the folks pretty nearly died laughing. When I came away from there I pract-ically had an accent myself. I seen one of Scotlands great comedian in the bay horse pub in Glasgow his name is Will Rife I think and he was pretty good too. He was telling a few of his jokes in there.
Well by the looks of things and by the way the Major is talking it won’t be long now till we are in action. We are moving pretty soon he says to do a lot of hard training and there isn’t much time left. We were asked if our next of kin were right in our pay books and things like that so the outlook seems pretty good.
Well I think I better close for now Andy. This is just about the longest letter I’ve written to anyone and my arm is pretty tired doing it. So good-bye for now.