Borden Camp, Eng.
2nd July 1916
Dear Winnie: –
We are settled at last and are glad of it, especially after the boat trip. We had a nice trip across the Dominion, having a little route march at most of the cities along the line. The last march was at Campbellton . Everyone was in high spirits expecting leave at Halifax but I knew it was all off when I saw the home guards at the Truro station with fixed bayonets, where no one was allowed to leave the train. Soon after the guards on the train were doubled and as I was one of them I thought I would get a glimpse of Halifax but we were taken in the train right down the wharf to the Empress of Britain. We were loaded on the boat and did the "Komagata Maru" stunt until Tuesday morning. The sea was as calm as could be all the way over and very few got seasick. I did not feel it at all but the quarters and food on the boat were something awful and that spoiled the trip. We reached Liverpool last Thursday and remained on board the boat until the following morning when we entrained for the camp. We arrived at camp about two Friday morning and were inspected the same afternoon. We've officially passed inspection as we are to leave here tomorrow for a place called White Hall which is only a short distance from here.
I was out to Bramshott, about 6 miles away, where the Canadian camp of about fifteen or twenty thousand soldiers are. I saw some I knew in the 72nd. McLaren saw his brother in the 67th there. Their father is at Shorncliff with the 88th.
That little Hayens kid came over in the boat as the 102nd mascot.
On the way from Liverpool to here we passed through a great number of towns in all of which you could not see one wooden building, all were of brick. The towns appeared to be small manufacturing places. We passed through Birmingham.
The streetcars in the cities are double deckers and the cars on the railroads are not at all like ours. The cars have five doors on each side which open into five different compartments, the aisle runs from door to door and each compartment seat ten people. The cars have single trucks under them while ours have double trucks. The flat cars are like a farm wagon, only a little longer, and seem awfully funny. It is claimed the trains run much faster here than in Canada but one thing is certain the one I was on rocked and bumped so, that is almost seemed worse than the boat.
This place is only a little hole in the wall where the Canadians are spotted and soaked for everything and the youngsters on the streets are the biggest bums I ever saw.
The country around here is very pretty and the old houses, churches and mills are just like the ones you read about. A good many houses and mills have thatched roofs. Most of the houses seem to be at least one hundred years old.
While I think of it, I don't think there is anything I have seen so far to beat the coast line of Ireland we saw just before we passed the Isle of Man.
The Drake, a cruiser that was in Charlottetown some years ago, accompanied us all the way over and just before reaching the danger zone three torpedo boat destroyers came and escorted us in to Liverpool.
I will write again soon
We are about forty miles from London and about twenty-five from Portsmouth