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Date: April 5th 1917
Dad & Mum - (Arthur & Jennie Winterbottom)
Sydney Winterbottom

France (Vimy)
April 5, 1917

Dear Dad and Mum:

I received a nice letter from Uncle Barney last night. In it he told me to ask him for anything I needed and he would see that I got it. At present were under canvass in a jake wood of beech and oak trees. Quite a place to some places we have been.

Last night Adrian and myself visited the seven Batt. and there we met and talked to Donald George. He's looking fine and plays bridge whenever he can find time. We also saw several others of the old 11 CMR boys.

Above the village at which they were stationed were several balloons for observation purposes, and I'm cussed if old Fritz was not trying to shell them although they were many kilometres away from him. You should see the aeroplanes about! there are literally hundreds of them. The other day we saw a flock of 27. Old Fritz has also some wonderful swift planes which go at a terrific speed. They call them the little red devils.

I heard from Marg the other day and as usual her letter was very amusing.

Percy Spaulding yesterday went to hospital for a few days to have a small operation on his big toe.

I received the box of ginger which came just as we were going into the line for a trip. We ate most of the ginger at our gun post in the front line after being there all night in the unspeakable mud. It was good and I hope it will be sent regularly every week.

Not long ago a few of us were billeted in the cellar of a ruined house...this house or pile of bricks..happen to be in what was once a big thriving town now of course, a pile of bricks. Well our cellar was in front of one of our batteries which seemed to annoy Fritz. Fritz in fact was so sore he kept searching for the battery with some of his heavies. By heck! some of those dashed shells of his came close. They came so close once that we were all shaking in spite of all we could do--a most rotten sensation. We were glad to move into the front line from there. Coming out we happened to go along a road near which were a few of our heavy batteries all going to it full tilt. the noise was so deafening you couldn't hear each other if you yelled at the top of your voices. By gum, you should have seen how we got out of that spot. On the way out there was 4 dead horses on the roadside, a transport wagon was overturned in a ditch and a railway engine over a bank. The funny thing about it was it looked all so natural to see these things and no one was the least surprised.

If you get a couple of pressed snow drops from me they came out of a shell hole in a village we were in. The hole was simply white with them.

To-day being Good Friday, Adrian and I took communion to-gether with several other fellows.

Well, Dad old man, have the things ready for I'm coming back this season for that deer hunt. Just you wait and see.

With best love to you all, I am

Lovingly yours,


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