Broughton, C. B. I. - N. S.
Sunday Oct. 29th 1916
My Dear Mother,-
You probably noticed in last Wednesday's paper, that we were comfortably quartered in Surrey, Eng. of course this was a mistake; it meant the 108th Batt.
However we will be in Old England next Sunday if we have a safe passage.
Yesterday we went to Glace Bay for a day off, and it is to tell you about our trip that I am writing
We left camp at 7.15 A.M. on our nine mile march, after very careful warning from the colonel to behave ourselves, and not to disgrace the batt. The road lay all the way through as thick evergreen bush, and during the whole time we never saw a house or a cleared space. But the worst of it was the mud - the awful mud and water. We never took a dry step during the whole distance, but plunged through mud, usually ankle step, and small streams Our shoes, puttees & pants were covered with mud and when we arrived in G. B. we were a dirty tho' happy crowd. We arrived at 11 P.M. The town is built upon great cliffs along the sea shore and like every place else on this islands is given over to coal mining and steel works. We found the town decorated for the occasion and the population out en masse to greet us & to stare at the soldiers from the “wild and wooly” west. The Pres. church had a big sign of welcome out, and we were invited [deleted word “out”] to have lunch there.
After dismissal, Rube, Mac & I invaded a barber shop, and got a much needed hair cut. Then we went down to the church and made away with unlimited quantities of coffee & sandwiches. I had 9 sandwiches and 7 cups of coffee. The womens and the girls were very friendly, and we enjoyed out lunch very much. I got acquainted with a very nice girl, who promised to write Mable Kehoe of Caledonian Mines. I went and had a chat with minister - Rev McLeod. I found him very friendly. He remined me very much of McAskill of Plumas. I gave him one of your cards.
The choir girls and a number of the soldiers who were so inclined, were having a sing-song up in the choir, so I went up and had a sing. We sang a number of good old hymns and God Save the King.
As we went out, the ladies had barrels of apples at the door, and we took as many as we could carry.
Next we went up to Woolworths 15¢ store, where we purchased every thing that we wanted. The boys on the street were selling Man. Free Presses almost a week old, and they could not hand them out fast enough.
Our purchasing over, we strolled down to the wharf where dozens of small boys were fishing for smelt. We each gave a kid five cents for his line, and were successful in pulling out several of the little smelt. While we were there a fishing smack came in, and also a big coast steamer. We would like to have stayed down by the water all day, but as we had to fall in at 3 P.M. we had to hurry back up town. Before we left, seven of us chipped in together and bought an Ansco Camera for seven dollars, and today we took some pictures of Broughton.
We left G. B. at 3.15 P.M. to march home, and rather than go back thro' the mud we walked along a railway which took us out of our road, and made the return trip fifteen miles. - but it was dry. We did not get home till 8 o'clock at night, and I was never so tired in my life. After darkness came on we trudged along the track - a disorderly mob. Dozens of the men were drunk, and fell out to lay in the bush all night. None of us knew where we were or how far we had to go, and for the last three miles we left the track & ploughed through the mud. We made the whole trip without a stop, and when we got home my legs were shaking, and my feet were so sore that I could not stand on them. However a good night's sleep was all that was necessary to put us in trim again & today I have felt fine.
I forgot to tell you that we passed two big wireless stations The great high towers - 23 of them were on top of a hill in the midst of a spruce bush about three miles from the sea.
Everyone has been very busy today preparing to leave tomorrow. This afternoon I was detailed to make sandwiches to eat tomorrow on our 15 hr. trip to Halifax. There were 3000 sandwiches to make - cheese, meat & jam & allthough we had quite a gang on it took all afternoon.
We are not going to have any time at Halifax, but are to get off the train on to the ship. I hear that we have a six day ship to go across on
I am too tired to write any more tonight. I will try to send you another card before we leave Canada
With the best of love
I wrote you a letter on Friday, which I will post the same day as this – Read it first