May 27, 1917
One letter in five month from you, but there is some excuse for you, you have love letters to write an not much spare time, I have only a few love letters to write and lots of spare time.
No Essie courting wont stand in my way down here, no girls no big town close, but I am going up to London some off these week ends, up to see my little Irish Queen.
I dont understand how you only got so few a letters, I will admit I neglected writing but I am sure I wrote oftener than that, oh say I forgot your address so I sent my last letter to Orchard.
Glad to hear you are getting to be a bit of a nurse, as well as a farmer.
Poor Grace it is a shame, why she sent me enough writing material at Xmas to last me for the duration in fact I could not find room for it in my kit when I left Hospital so I issued it out, good reason why she has no boy friend, no boys left, isn’t that right? her and her (Preaches Sky Pilot) friends give me a pain, how is old Norma.
Poor Billie Pinder if he is not in wrong with his girl, he has trouble with his wood pile, poor fellow, if I had him and his car over here, I would soon have him on the trail to happiness, he could have his choice big ones or little ones, but I am not saying anything about the class, I beware.
I can find no trace of 147 battalion, I sure would like to see them.
Essie I dont know whether Billie is soft or not, but it is just as well, for a soldier if he has a sweetheart back in Canada, that he intends to make his wife when he comes back, and I have no doubt that is Billies idea, and I hope for your sake, as you are my favourite cousin, that he does beware off the girls with the glad eye, for nature is nature, and these girls are mostly filthy, you should hear the lectures we get both from the doctor and preacher, I dont want you to get insulted, but if ever I get back I will be able to tell you a lot more, you may say you are going to be an old maid, but you will meet you Waterloo just the same as Nellie and Jessie have.
Essie I used to think the same but I am beginning to see things in a different light.
So Mame Keith is still getting married.
Say when is Dave Carmount going to buck up and enlist, glad you had a good time at the dance.
This is the beauty of this country no snow banks to wade through, we had an exceptional lot of snow this winter also a lot of frost, but nothing to speak off.
Essie I dont think this war is much nearer to an end, but if I go back, I will sure go to the Machine Gun section.
Essie I do remember Alvin Wilton poor fellow, he is dead and always will missing, I know a corporal that was in charge of him and he was telling me about him, poor boy he was in a deep dugout when over came a trench-mortar and let in the entrance of the dugout, and closed in the tunnel or entrance, they dont know whether, he was killed by concussion, or smothered to death, anyways they dug for four days and nights, and then didnt get him, and I believe they had to give it up for a bad job, but maybe some other outfit dug him out which is very doubtful, but any way he was buried deep enough, dont tell Pinders the exact truth or it would break their hearts.
I was up to the hospital when I was on leave, I was not interested in any of the nurses, a name it is a bank holiday all over England, but believe me they made us loop the loop this morning on drill practising bayonet fighting, the old Duke of Connought is going to inspect us tomorrow, have us sticking bags of straw and bunches of wood just to make a show for them fellows, this sure is soldiering over here, shining our equipment, but I dont mind it, I kind of like soldiering, I shall soon have three years in.
Well Essie I must draw this letter to a close for my pen is running dry, and I have nothing more of interest to tell you so I will say bye bye with love ever your cousin
This is what my little Yorkshire lassie wrote me at the bottom of her letter.
There is a big lonely o in my heart for you.