Aug. 31, 1916
For a wonder it has been a dry day to-day. I and six other fellows were moved with our kit bags and blankets to some barracks about two miles from our camp. We don’t know what is in the wind but rather imagine we are detailed off here for a couple of days to put up a lot of tents for a big bunch of officers who have just arrived for training. You should see the sweet specimens who go up for officer’s courses. You remember Thomas who used to work in the Bank of Commerce? He is now a swankey lieutenant-bless you- and processes a “clessy” moustache for the occasion.
I heard from your old acquaintance “Delmonico” that Morty (Worty?) Wood turned out a jewel at the front but had to be put on early billet in the end as he became practically crippled with rheumatism.
For the last week we have had a dose of the trenches in rainy weather. They are beyond description. While I was seated in one of the dugouts, wet to the skin and with large chunks of wet clay adhering to my anatomy I conceived the brilliant idea of writing home for a really good pair of shoe-packs with some good German socks to boot. So any time you can spare I wish you would take out eight or nine dollars and buy a high pair of good grade shoe-packs with nailed soles and ship them over. It is worth the money any day. I’m sure you would think it a good scheme if you saw the bally greasy clay mud which abounds here. It is a holy fright. Living in tents as we are it is practically impossible to keep clean while it lasts. A seven and a half or eight would provide ample room for socks.
I am very glad old man to hear of you having steady work and know only too dashed well that a man is a lot happier when he is making two ends meet than when he is running up bills. I only hope you can get hold of easier work and able to enjoy life a little bit for a change.
Keith’s letters make me laugh especially when he brings in Lucy and Co. I don’t blame him for leaving because my old friend Darrak tried to make me.................incomplete.
p.s. please let me know if my half pay has arrived safely.
[Editor’s note: Transcription provided by collection donor.]