[Note: there is a continuity issue with the date of this letter as Stretch's Service File records document his arrival in England on November 11, 1916. It is most likely a mixed-wording by the author, possibly for December 5th of 1916, as it was written prior to the time he departed for France in early 1917.]
Nov 5th 1916.
Dear Mother and Father,
Well how are you folks getting along, all well I hope.
I am feeling fine although this is one awful country for a white man to live in.
We don’t do anything but drill day and night and believe me they drill you too.
I heard that Mr. Millard and Tom. M. were at Shorncliff about 3 miles from here so I think I will go over there next Sunday and see them.
This is sure one place for flying machines you can look up most any time and see at least two and they make a noise like a great big electric fan.
On a still night about 3 or 4 oclock, some times when the air is right we can hear the big guns quite plain. It isn’t like thunder exactly just a sort of heavy growl, like a train going over a bridge with a sharp rumble now and then. I haven’t heard it lately I guess I’ve been to busy sleeping.
Has Alex Chalmers enlisted yet