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Date: 1916

[Note: Written sometime while Ramsey was serving in France between 1915-1919, most likely in 1916 or 1917, but the exact letter date is unknown. For chronological readability within the collection it has been posted here as “1916”]

Div Cycle Corps

My Dear Mother,

I feel quite at home to-night, seated beside a nice warm stove in a nice little farm house. We are billeted on a farm a long long way behind the line. We are on a rest, for three weeks. One of the Vancouver boys, McDonald and I had a great time coming down. If you will listen I will tell you all about it. We started off very early in the morning with full kit packed on our cycles from our old billet. For the first two or three miles all went well but soon after that there was a bang and I found myself riding on my back rims, so I got off and walked a little way until I met another man with something wrong with his machine. Well we fixed them both up, and started off to catch up with the bunch. We had not gone one hundred yards when bang she went again but this time it was a much louder one and I found my tire ripped about 4 inches long, so I got off and pushed again for about three miles, then I came too a little village with a repair shop for repairing the transport wagons, I went in there and found one of the Vancouver boys with his back axle broken in to. Well we were in a pickle, both wheels were unmendable and we were fifty miles from our destination. But we had not been there long before a corporal came up with a few more men and he told us to leave our wheels there and find our way as best we could. So we slung our packs on our backs and started off. We had no idea where we were to go, we knew the name of the place which was a big French City, but we did not know which way to go. So we walked and walked until we came to another little town, with a railway, we went to the railway transport officer, and after a lot of exptaination he gave us papers for the train in which we left that town a 3:15 in the afternoon. We landed in quite a big town about five o’clock, where we had to change, and after inquiring we found we would get to our destination leat that night, and as we did not know where to go when we got there we thought we would stay where we were for the night, and catch the morning train. We took a room in a Hotel and had a great time. We got a big room with two great big beds in, and fine feather mattresses. After having a good walk round the town we went to bed and slept like logs until morning when a French Mademoiselle woke us up, and after a good breakfast we went to catch our train. We arrived about ten that morning and found we had a long walk in front of us. And it certainly was we went sixteen miles it may not sound much but with a kit on your back and rifle, and one hundred and fifty rounds of amunition it was some walk, my shoulders are sore yet, but I feel none the worse for it, we are settled fine now. There is a big difference between the people here and the people up on the border, up there they would not do a thing for you, and would make every cent out of you they could, that is the Flemish. But down here, here cannot do enough, we are on a little farm owned by an old man who fought in the war of 1817 for France. He is a fine old man. It raind hard all day to day, and some of us went out and got wet, and when we came back he gave us some hot coffee and rum.

Well it is about time I had a letter from you, it is quite a while since I had one. I suppos you will soon be going to Alaska again. I wish I was going with you, but I hope to the next time. I had a letter from gran, she is keeping fine, Mrs. Hall sends her love to you. Well I must close now, I have no more to say. So give my love to Auntie Uncle Dad and Eve, and my very best to yourself.                                                           


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