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Date: December 7th 1914
Mrs. J.W. Watson
Alfred Pickup
Newspaper Article

[Written on December 7, 1914 and published in the newspaper The Ladysmith Chronicle on February 9, 1915]

Mrs. J.W. Watson has kindly permitted the Chronicle to publish the following letter, which she received several days ago from Mr. A.T. Pickup, formerly on the staff of the Canadian Bank of Commerce at Ladysmith. Mr. Pickup joined the 2nd Yorkshire regiment, and has seen considerable active service. There was some little delay in receiving the letter which was posted in France on December 7th:

DEAR MRS WATSON — Just a few lines from these parts to let you know that I am still going along well. It is a long hail from Ladysmith to France, but it will not lessen my wishes to you for a most happy Christmas. It only seems like yesterday that I was with you for the last season.

You may have heard from the family of the great honor I have received in being officer command of a company in the Yorkshire. Two hundred men take a great deal of looking after, and I feel the responsibility rather.

I am afraid I have no war stories to tell you. The Germans are sitting in trenches opposite to us, about two to three hundred yards away. Apart from the whistle of bullets and an occasional shell we are quite quiet.

Trenches are rotten – too much mud altogether. We are fortunate in being able to get three days in and three out. You will have seen pictures and read about the nice places they are. We live like rabbits, each man having a little hole to crawl into, and when it is good and moist with three inches of mud in the best places. Still we are all very cheerful. We are able to have hot meals, as coke braziers are supplied, as well as a daily delivery of letters and newspapers, so no one can say that the Government are not doing their best. In fact it hardly seems like war, every thing goes so well.

With best wishes to yourself and Mr. Watson, and hoping you will remember me to other Ladysmith friends. Yours very sincerely,


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