8/3/17 - 10.30 a.m.
Last night I got a parcel from Grace Cameron with a pair of very nice sox, which I am acknowledging this a.m., also got your exceptionally nice pair with my name on and the hanky. You need not send me any more for the present as if I accumulate to too many pairs they are more apt to get lost. This last pair you sent were the best I think, so soft and warm. The pair Grace sent were very good too. I wondered how she knew my address.
We had quite a fall of snow again, and it is very cold again. I have been sleeping in my eiderdown bag in the same room as the other Canadian Attached Officer on a bed made with wooden frame and canvas stretched over the top. I have been more comfortable than ever before. The French beds as I think I told you are about two or three feet thick (springs and mattress) and about one hundred years old, and the springs usually all broken, and enough clothes piled on top to smother one. I had not used the sleeping bag since the bed was available, but since I got this new job I have to share the room four days in every eight, so got a bed of my own, and am very glad I did so. The eiderdown is very light and warm and the bed perfectly level, which is a change from the other. I heard from the lady in London who is looking after my things, saying that she had received them O.K., at least all but the bag which I had loaned to a Lieut. O'Laughlin in the 159th. I heard that the 159th was coming to France as a Railway building Unit. I wrote to some of them some time ago, but have not since received any answer, but expect to in a day or so.
If I am fortunate enough to spend another winter in France (or unfortunate enough), I certainly would like to have a pair of overshoes and rubbers sent from Canada. When one thinks that all one’s life they wore rubbers and overshoes in fall and winter during wet weather, to put them off for boots, which are nearly always wet, in a strange climate, it is only to be expected that one will suffer from cold and discomfort. April no doubt will see signs of real spring weather, and it is very surprising what an effect the weather has on a person’s spirits.
There was quite an action on our front a few days ago, and quite a few casualties on both sides. A very unusual thing took place, an armistice for a duration of two hours, for the collecting of the dead. There were two Colonels killed I understand, one commanding the Battalion from which the other Infantry Officer attached here comes. I don’t think there is any possibility that the war will end soon, at least not from a fighting point of view. The retreat of the Germans is a gain of territory for us no doubt, but he is considered to have shortened his front in that part, to have better and cleaner positions to defend, and to be nearer and more convenient to his source of supply. Conjectures as to the duration of the war are very much a matter of pure guess work, but no doubt it takes a long time to get things fully organized and in working order, and unless some outside consideration becomes a factor I think it will be some time yet before the Germans come to a full realization of the fact that they have against than forces that are inevitable as to the final result. I could make the letter much easier for me to write and more interesting, if we were allowed to write of Military Matters, but that is prohibited, so you see how restricted we are.
I am looking forward anxiously to spring and good roads, and then riding a motor cycle will be a pleasure.
One day last week (recently I have been riding on the motor lorry instead of on the cycle), we had to go out of our way on account of the roads, and part of the way travelled by a main road between two rather important towns. It was the first time I had been on the road and in fact the first time I had seen such a road in France. Most of the roads here are intricate winding roads, sometimes following the undulations of the chalky formation of the country, and beautifully picturesque on a clear day, but this road was as straight as a railway, very wide and lined with tall trees, beech in nature, but shaped something like our elms, at short intervals.
Am sending some papers, "Punches", home, by this mail, and a "Bystander" to Rhoda, and one to Willie. I promised to send some French papers to Donald, but since then have not been in a town large enough to get them, but will do so as soon as possible.
Love to all.