June 5 /l7
My Dear Rhoda and All:-
I have been accused of not acknowledging all the letters. May be I have not done so directly, but indirectly I have tried to acknowledge all parcels and letters or papers I get. I have just received your letter of May 13th also your packet of papers including a large picture of Hon. Sir Julian Byng, which I pasted on the door of "D" Coy. officers hut (I being acting Company Commander and being quite proud of the position). The O.C. Battalion came around, saw and admired it, so I after his practically suggesting it gave it to him. There was also a picture of Lt. Nicholson formerly with me in 159th, wounded in Vimy ridge in the same paper on reverse side on side of Byng’s picture.
I wrote you some few days ago after Mother told me that you had not been getting acknowledgements of your letters. I left Ronald’s French reader at the tunnellers Mess when I left, and although I wrote asking then to send it on, they did not do so. I have not yet received the parcel with the towel but no doubt it will be here soon, in fact I understand there is a lot of Canadian mail here undistributed, so no doubt it will be among that.
The weather here has been ideal. We have been out of the line for some days now living in huts around an old Chateau, among beautiful groves of tall shade trees. The country is really wonderful. I cannot conceive of any place on earth more beautiful unless it be a tropical country where the vegetation might be more luxuriant but the air not so clear and bracing as here. This is the first rest we have had as far back from the line as this for some time, and the trees and hedges and fields are so changed that landscapes that were familiar to us before are hardly recognizable now.
We have had several functions or events since we came here. One a military tattoo at which Sir Douglas Haig was present, was quite an event. I am sorry I missed it but someone had to stay in the Coy. so I did. They had nearly 300 pipes and drums and quite a lot high officials. Yesterday we had presentation of decoration in our brigade by our Divisional Commander which was quite a function. The brigade was formed in three sides of a square, our battalion on the right. There are two highland battalions in the brigade and they made quite a grand sight. The circumstances surrounding the action for which each man was decorated for "conspicuous gallantry" were read out and the ribbon pinned on their breasts after the reading. It was certainly an inspiring ceremony to hear of men risking their lives for the sakes of others.
I wrote Mrs. Cameron. Did she say she had rec’d the letter?
With love to all children yourself Donald and at home.