C. Company, 82nd Battalion
Otterpool Camp, Shorncliffe
My Dear Parents & Bros.
Willie was sure glad today to receive a letter each from mother, Ev and Jack written May 30, June 4 & 2 respectively and he certainly fully enjoyed them all. I tell you that those from the dear ones back home look good and when I hear the mail orderly shout my name when about one hundred other fellows surround him so that he can hardly breath, I feel like jumping up and walking over their heads to reach for "my mail".
I am sorry dad, dear old dad, that I cannot drop in for an occasional chat with you, anyway. But never mind, some of these days I will walk in and talk you shirt off. See?! I'm glad to know that all of the other b's are still OK.
It was fine to have Jack home again for a day or two and will be to have Ev close again, soon. Good luck to you all is my earnest wish and hope.
By this time some of my past letters written from Eng. will have answered many things which you mention and I would dearly love to answer you all separately. But as yet I cannot get in an extra one at all. This will have to also be short. As I told you, Harold, before, I am in the first draft to go froward from our Bttn., expected to go about July 20th or 24th but may go sooner as men are needed as soon as possible and the O.C. was obliged today to drill most of us all P.M. to prepare us to go to Lympne Wednesday morn for two, or three weeks musketry practise. This killed our Sunday off after church parade in the forenoon as is the custom. So my time tonight is short.
We were inoculated against diphtheria (the seven in our tent, some others being still confined) and released from quarantine Thursday noon and sure were glad to get free and to work again. The first couple of days was quite a rest, but after that it grew monotonous sitting around with nothing to do. It has been beautiful weather (for the first time practically since we landed) most of the time since we were quarantined and is now fine for drilling. There are still about an average of ten little showers each day but over here it dries off quickly and we never notice anything in that line short of a drencher.
Good luck to you Ev at your new work. You will probably like it much better and at any rate the change will break the monotony.
Tell Alma to send Billie Biscuits a bushel of those snaps immediately by wireless. My but a home meal would?! But pshaw! These military rations are wonderfuly and I am still thankful for good health and for feeling so fine. Just wait until I send word of my coming home not long hence and prepare about a barrel of snaps, a bushel of celery, buttermilk, tomatoes, Grape Fruit, preserved pineapple each, also a cartload of home-made bread. See!
I was down to Folkstone to do some shopping yesterday and the seaside bathing sports and scenery is great. There are dozens and dozens of ships patrolling the coast there in sight from the harbour to the horizon in all directions. We frequently hear the rumbling of cannons across from France on calm afternoons and nights. The sound travels so far across the water.
It is interesting to watch dozens of aeroplanes per day flying about and over us watching for Zeppelins and some of their manipulations are wonderful. They travel at terrific speeds, at all heights; some of them being so high as to be near out of sight even when straight above.
Have had no answers to any written from this side yet, but expect some this week.
Say – I have thousands of things I would like to tell you about, discuss, etc., but must close very soon. I would love to answer those letters separately Ev & Jack, but must needs close and beat it for camp before tattoo. I thoroughly enjoyed them both and will look for more. I know you will write them if only to let me know that you forgive me not answering separately as yet anyway.
Loads of Love and good wishes to all from
[written on the back of the last page, after receiving the letter, by Will's mother and others]
Please forward this to Albert and then he too Jack, and Jack you please send it home, as we do not know where Vern will be as we got a letter from him today stating to not write him anymore until he gave us his address from Edmonton. -To Jack, will you please send it home when you read it. Please be prompt in sending it around, as Harold and Ev have not read it yet and they will both be home end of next week. Dad is not very well, but is able to be up most every day. Now all be good and write to Will as often as you can, as it helps him so much.
Rest of us are all well.
Love in abundance to all of you
P.S. I want to save all of Will's letters after you all have read them.
Love to all
[?] my very best, also every other of my friends.