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Date: April 2nd 1917
Beulah Bahnsen (wife)
Ralph Watson

2 April, ’17 (morning).

The weather has taken a turn for the worse, most bitterly cold and the ground covered with snow again. Snow over mud, ugh!!! Imagine it, if you can. Under these conditions, thank the Lord I am well — most tremendously so.

All my kit is packed, on the expectation of having half an hour’s warning.

All is good.

A tin hat, a gas mask, a razor, a towel, a tube of medicated vaseline (swiped) for my boots, a knife, fork, and spoon. That’s about all. Your woolly hat is worth its weight in ten dollar bills. It isn’t quite the same colour as it was, but I’d sooner lose anything than that.

Even at this, my kit feels heavy enough.

The snow drove a plane down just now. He was not hurt and flew up again, when the storm blew over. It must be desperately cold for them and the observation balloon men.

I’m getting quite a lot of work now; lots of men seem to be going sick. Nothing serious, but still sick — boils, and so on. My last party consisted of French Canadians; only a few can speak English. It’s funny. You’d laugh to hear me, “Take those two mit now — and this one aprѐs midi — and again ce soir.”

The horses are standing this weather very badly. At least ten are shot every morning and thrown into an old disused trench. . . .

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