May 7, 1917
Hello Mary & All,–
Dont think I have written to you for some time so I will drop a few lines this morning. I am just out on a shell crater basking in the sun so felt like writing. Just enough shells to keep us in mind that there is a war on and we’resomewhere in France but they are mostly gas shells, so a fellow has to keep his respirator handy. Fritz kept things moving here last night though and three men and a horse are lying in a shell hole of few yards away, but I was 40 feet below ground so altho we could hear a constant rumble and knew what it meant to those in it. Everybody was singing (at least all the fellows who hadnt been over here long enough to lose their cheerfulness) and a fellow says he’ll see that we get bird seed instead of Bully Beef after this, Ha Ha.
Errol Gaudin has just got a box from the West so we are having a great feed of date candy. It sure tastes good out here,a fellow finds out how little he can live on out here and learns to be careful of his rations, but I have fared pretty good so far only I’m getting a little thinner. There is another fellow here that looks like me and they always get us mixed up. I was asked to draw his tobacco ration this morning but I said I had mine so I have just been thinking of parading for his dinner. Do you think it would work, Ha Ha.
We have had real nice weather since coming here and everything is dusty. The first casualty of our “old sixteen” platoon happened a few days ago, not in the battalion though you see we are in two different ones but I saw some boys yesterday and they said “Slim” Greever, Owen Sound, was killed,he was the only O.S. [Owen Sound] boy in the Meaford platoon. I think all the Thornbury boys are alright but I havent seen Penny yet.
We see some great sights here, sorry I cant tell you about them, it sure is an interesting life not many comforts and sometimes you wonder what will happen next, but there is always a funny side to everything. We see what war really is and what it costs while in Canada you buy the paper and read “nothing to report”
I suppose everybody will be busy at seeding spraying, housecleaning and etc now eh? Everything is green over here and the primroses are out.
Well it will soon be dinner time so I must close and be “right on the job” that is one time when Im always in the right place at the right time.
Hoping all are well as it leaves me.