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Date: August 2nd 1916
Keith Winterbottom - (brother)
Sydney Winterbottom

Cheriton, England
Aug. 2, 1916

Dear Keith:

Thanks for your welcome letter I received to-day. I hope to get at two letters a week from home while here and shall be disappointed if I do not. I’ll answer them! I guess you will be glad to leave your present job although it is a darn side better than doing nothing. Now old top just look around and I’m sure you will find plenty of work at other places, for instance if you feel like it there is the haying of which there must be plenty.

There is an old prospector named “Bell” in our tent. He is about fifty years old and is built like a bull moose. Although only a little over five feet tall he weighs quite a bit over two hundred pounds. Well I often have talks to him about farming lands. He has prospected all over B.C., been all over the Yukon and done quite a bit of traveling. In fact he is apparently well off.

He says that the most perfect farming land he ever came across is in the valley of the Nass River in B.C. To find the Nass River look on the sea coast of B.C. up towards Prince Rupert. I think I’m right in saying it is the farthest river north of B.C. and empties into the sea west of B.C. Old Bell tells me that the land is covered thinly with this slender little birch and is very easy to clear. He and his partner have a jake little ranch there. He says he can grow potatoes, roots, and all the hay he wants without the least trouble or irrigation. The climate is jake. It only goes down to about 5 below zero in the winter with about four feet of snow. In April the land is ready to plow. Also you can live on the game, it is everywhere, moose in particular.

No, I didn’t see a submarine coming over although I heard that one was waiting for us. It is quite like home to see a mosquito again. Here the thick headed country folk would wonder what the deuce you meant by “mosquito”.

I hope old Batch makes it stick this time. If he had any savvy he would hoard away a couple of tons of canned grub for a rainy day and some rice.

I did receive and wear Marg’s socks. They were a darned good sensible pair too and are just the thing for this work. I now have over twelve pairs of home knitted socks.

I think Frank and Harry are in France now. I’m writing them to-night. Poor old Dug. is in Wansworth Hospital which is somewhere near London. I hear he is getting on in great shape.

I was speaking to a guy back from the front and he told me that when the fellows go into action they lose all their unnecessary kit and just keep as many socks as they can get and their waterbottle, and an extra pair of boots. As he put it “In H------ with all that other junk”.

We often see air ships and aeroplanes over the camp. At night deuce of powerful search- lights dart about the sky everywhere.

I heard two guys cussing each other to-day. At last one of them said “Aw shut your face or I will spit on you and rub you out”

You are a spindle-shanked, lumpy jawed prune.....

Your loving brother,
Sydney AW

Please give my love to Mum, Dad and co.


[Editor’s note: Transcription provided by collection donor.]