Dec. 23 '16
My Dear Ones at Home;
I have written to you from many strange places since I left Manitoba, but if you could see me now, two days before 'Xmas, you would know that this is the strangest of all.
Do you remember the cellar at Whitewater last spring? That is the only place that I can liken it to. A low, dark wet, black hole down under the ground - a dug-out in the trenches I am sitting in a corner trying to write, and Argyle is lying on some wet bags beside me. We can hear the water - drip - drip - drip from above for it is raining, always raining, outside. The guns are firing continually above - Fritz sending over his little souvenirs and our boys replying with rifle and artillery fire
We were up nearly all night last night. Mac and I are on a working party, carrying rations. We have to carry food to the men in all parts of the trenches. Twice thro' the night and three times through the day the rations go up, so there is little time for sleep. Yesterday Fritz knocked our trenches in, in several places, and we had to dig them out thro' the night; dig out several feet of thick sticky mud.
The trenches are in a pretty bad state - mud mud, mud, and in places water knee deep. I tell you it was no fun groping alone thro' them in the dark with rifle and ammunition and a load of rations
Our clothes & hands & faces are covered with mud and west - but no-body cares. What is the use! We just have to go along and make the best of it. We do not feel afraid - not even down-hearted
I feel O.K. No cold or any thing else. I do not bother or worry about all the hardships, but keep as cheery as I can and Mac and I are good chums. We forget all about the present in looking forward into the future - to the time when we will be home again
Will try to write again tomorrow
Your loving boy