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Date: September 9th 1917
Helen Winterbottom - (sister)
Sydney Winterbottom

France, village nr. Lens
Sept. 9, 1917

Dear Helen:

I am writing you a separate letter so that you can get the letter if you are not home. First of all I hope you had a good holiday old girl. Aunt Florrie and Agnes wrote and said you were going on like a couple of kids. Was the pupil who passed her entrance with such high marks from your school? The paper said she was from Heffly Creek

Did I tell you that Maud Batchelor very kindly sent me a box of chocolates, the first box of Canadian chocs. I had seen since leaving old B.C. Wasn’t it good of her?

Just you wait until we lads return there will be some parties then you bet. Dug., Percy and myself saw and spoke to the McDermid brothers the other evening. It is fine to think they are to-gether. They even carry out wounded, one holding each end of the stretcher. Frank Busteed sent me a post card saying he was on his Paris leave at last.

The other day a colonel of the air service gave us a most interesting lecture. The object of these lectures was to bring the air service and infantry closer to-gether. It is an excellent idea as we don’t know anything more about the air service than you do at home.

It must be grand up in the hills about Heffly Creek now. I see by the Kamloops paper that they are putting a closed season on the grouse family for three years. It seems that the old war has affected the whole world.

I have not yet received the parcel you mentioned in your letter from Victoria but thanks all the same old girl for thinking about it.

I write this lying on some green grass in a little French village. There is a small vegetable garden in front of me around whose fence bright coloured morning glories etc. are growing. The fruit is ripening now so many half ripe apples, plums etc. disappear from the neighboring trees. I think the french kids must borrow them during the night or are they taken by----??? I wonder if they are so greedy.

When you write please tell me how the garden came off this year, and if the potato patch on the adjacent lot was of any use after all. Would you please ask Dad to write and tell me what he thinks of taking up land by proxie - for me in my absence. Please tell him too that if a person serving in France takes up land his time in France is counted as that on the land. The Batch boys are thinking of trying the scheme.

Well old girl write when you can. Doug and I met Mr.Homer Taylor in the trenches. He was a corporal in the Red Cross section.

Your loving brother,


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