Jan. 16, 1917
Thanks ever so much for the dandy pair of socks you sent me also the nice descriptive letter about the Xmas school up country. Did any of the guys get mashed on Helen? If so I will have to walk over there and tear into a couple of them---tough guy eh?
I'm in the machine gun now so feel quite nifty "ahbaht" it. At present I and four others are sitting in a jake deep dug out. We have a jake little stove -for a wonder- and are all singing part songs ect. so you see we aren't so bad off at times after all. So far we have done nothing but rest, eat and sleep.
I guess old Keith was sore when he came back to find Mum had sold off the ducks - just as good though as the bally frog eaters weren't any good to you as they didn't lay eggs and were too thin to eat. I laughed at Mom's letter how she palmed off the consumptive chicken to the chink. I wonder if he ate it?
The other night one of our fellows was carrying a grub dish into the trenches when a machine gun bullet went right through it without hurting him in the least! There are lots of other things like that happen here. It seems as if a fellow has two lives in a way the way he can get out of a close shave.
Write when you can kiddo. I enjoy your nice descriptive letters.
Yours loving brother,
P.S. Here’s a piece of trench mud. Wet it and see how sticky it is.
[Editor’s note: Transcription provided by collection donor.]