June 3, 1917
Dear Dad and Mom:
Thanks ever so much for the letters of May 5. By Heck, I plum forgot about good old Helen's birthday so hope like the deuce you will buy her a good present from me and pay for it with my dough . Do you know I feel quite and old crock when I heard Helen was twenty. You see it suddenly brought home the solid unwavering fact that I cant be a kid much longer although my bally mustache still persists in remaining a few straggling white hairs.
In fact as Harry put it in his last letter a good fat wife and ten thousand a year will not be a thing to be sneezed at "apres la guerre" therefore I shall leave it to Keith to keep a look out for a "rich widder" who will supply an increasing supply of dough, eh wot?
Yes, our grub is alright. I generally eat out when I have the dough and when we are lucky enough to be near a French town. We are out for a bit of rest at present so that is why this letter is so cheerful. Douglas Goudy is sitting under a tree about ten feet away, also writing. He is in our platoon and a scout in our section. Percy Spalding is the other scout so old Kamloops is right there as usual.
By gum Dad you are a tough old nut for your age (54). I could not help laughing about the way you got off even if it did shake your old bones until they rattled. Anyway, old man if I get off all right through this scrap I am determined to have that hunting trip if we have to pack the whole bally house into the hills.
That Vimy Ridge advance was on our front a walk over. It was holding our objective that tried everyone most. I hope our next job is as easy.
I was speaking to Steve McKay a few days ago and he told me that Des Vickers was not only wounded but received the D.S.O. for his services also. He and another of his companies officers were the only officers in his company who reached the objective.
The weather out here is a just one long summer day and does certainly make this war a rotten business. At present our Div. is out for a rest so I therefore write in a jake green wood far from the --!--! guns.
We saw Tait from Kamloops (the boot shop man). He is a lieutenant in the 7th Batt. Jackson, the little Englishman who ran Luvopps (?) place up the North River (?) is in blighty with a great chunk torn out of his neck. Luckily, however, the skilled English doctors are mending him up. He says, however, that he will never be able to return as the loss of blood and nature of the wound has left him an old man. Gosh, I'm glad you aren’t out here old boy. You would feel bad if you could only see the number of young men whose hair has turned completely gray.
Well. keep your hearts up and don’t scrap too much in the hot weather - its hard on the nerves-
P.S. By heck though the country life has certainly changed Helen as regards to fat. har - har. Kick Keith from me)
[Editor’s note: Transcription provided by collection donor.]