Sat. Dec. 2 -'16
My Dear Ones at Home, -
Tonight, Argyle & I are sitting in the YMCA hut waiting for the concert to start, & I will utilize this time (which we find precious now) in writing you another letter
Every day we are having new experiences, and seeing new strange things. As we found Nova Scotia different to Manitoba, England different to Canada, so is France different to England. The French country is just what I have always imagined it to be - so quaint, and old and picturesque. The roads wind, around through the hills, with great, beautiful trees covered with green ivy, every where. Every mile or so the road runs through quaint old villages, of stone or sod huts, all with thatched roofs, and which look as if they had been standing there when Caesar conquered Gaul. The poorly clad peasants in their wooden clogs, selling apples, two for a penny, to the Canadian boys marching by. In the fields we see the old men & women working with ancient wooden plows, and here & there old, old women trudging along with great bundles of faggots on their backs, beside which our heavy packs seem light in comparison
Every morning we take a march through the country to our training grounds, where we work all day. Our training here is very practical, & no time is wasted. We are beginning to realize what a stern & deadly thing the war really is. We have learned how to wear our gas helmets & have gone thro' the deadly gas with them on. Each day we are learning how to best take care of ourselves, and at the same time to kill the most Huns. It seems like a revival of the spirit of the Middle Ages augmented by the deadly science & skill of the 20th century.
It has been rather cold & wet here ever since we arrived, & Argyle has had a nasty cold, I have had no cold however, but have felt tip-top. We have 14 men in each tent, each with 3 blankets, his rifle & all equipment, so you can imagine how much room there is. We thought that we were crowded with seven men also equippment at Camp Hughes, in the same size tent.
We do not have to do any shining or polishing up here - not even shaving. I have grown quite a young beard, & the gas that we went through turned our buttons quite black, Our shoes can never be seen for mud.
The concert is just starting so I must close
Your loving boy
Pte. W. M Pecover
27 Batt. C E F.