France:(Mt. St. Eloy)
Jan. 13, 1917
Dear Dad and the rest of you
I am writing this from a dugout ---somewhere in France-- to thank you all so much for the iced cake, sultanas and cakes of choc. you sent me I ate when in the firing line....they were jake. Also thank Joan ever so much for making me those jake pair of sox which will fit me fine I think.
I have just received a dandy parcel from Mrs. Curtis containing some most delicious chocs, oranges, and a delicious iced cake. Also Marg sent a nice box of chocs. We opened the parcel and 6 of us in the dugout quickly got outside the contents thereof. Also good old Heather sent me three pairs of socks and six packs of chewing gum. I chew gum like a son-of-a-gun these days.
I went into the trenches last trip on the machine gun crew and hope to stay on same. The M.G. fellows spend every other day in front line so you get a decent sleep once in a while. I darned near got a shot at a Fritz last time in. I was on day sentry watching Fritz lines through a periscope when a large Fritz climbed on top of the parapet and stood looking over our way. I dropped the periscope, grabbed my rifle and hiked to a decent part of the trench to shoot from. I stealthily poked my gun over the top but Fritz had disappeared @#$! the luck.
It is queer to tell you but I’m hanged if there is any “noos” to speak of except the weather. I laughed when you told me how cheerfully old Batch writes home. When we were in the old country things couldn’t have been nicer - except bum food occasionally. If poor old Daddy Batch doesn’t like England believe me he won’t adore France as there is too much mud everywhere. Frank B’s regiment is somewhere near us but I’m hanged if I can find out just where he is. I heard from good old Doug the other day. He expects to be sent out again shortly. Please tell Joan I will write her soon.
With love and thanks to you all, your loving son,
[Editor’s note: Transcription provided by collection donor.]