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Date: February 11th 1916
H.A. Holdsworth
Harry Foster


Mr. H.A Holdsworth has received the following letter from Pte. HARRY FOSTER, of the Butcher's Department, Napier Barracks, Shorncliffe, England, who went overseas from here:

The winter is just like a wet Spring in Canada. It is raining here all the time, and I can say with every confidence that we have not had four fine days together since August. It does seem to be going a bit too far in saying this, but I will stake my life upon it for the truth. Well if you wish to hear the conditions under which I am writing this letter, here they are. I am in a small room in a house occupied by the married men here in peace times. It is twelve feet long and ten feet wide. There are four men beside me in this room. It is our cook house, our reception room, our dining-room, and our bed room and anything else we may want it for. It has one window in it and it is, facing the English Channel, so that when the weather is bad, it is not safe to have the window open. We have a fire in the room and we try to make ourselves comfortable, but if you get right down to figure things out, I would call it worse than a dog's home. But we are in the army now and here we will stay and put up with a little discomfort, but we will certainly drive the Germans so hard this coming spring that they will be unable to recover again. The Drive is coming and before long, the sooner the better, for I want to get back to Canada and my wife. I am very sorry to have to tell you that my eldest brother is in the hospital, seriously wounded, and my younger brother who came over with me is also in the hospital. It gave me quite a shock when the news was brought to me only two days apart. Well, I suppose we have all got to take our chance in this war. Some will come back all right, some disabled for life, others wounded who will take a long time to recover. Well, speaking of recruits, I was talking to one of the men from the front the other day, and they will tell you they would shut up the parliament houses and let Kitchener do as we wishes, the war would not last half as long. The Government are now only beginning to realize that they have been feeding Germany through other countries by their half hearted blockade. I say, give the Navy a free hand, They have the power and they could stop Germany from getting food by cutting the neutral countries down to the level of imports that they were taking in 1913. Then they would not have any surplus food to send to Germany. Their men can- not fight without food no more than we could.

I hope that I will be spared to see you all again. I do not feel as if I am to be hurt. My heart is set upon coming back and I hope that I will not have to wait long. With best wishes for your success and the success of the Allied armies, 'God Save The King.'
Your friend, HARRY FOSTER.