May 28 1916.
Pte C.D. Richardson
Dear Mother: -
This is Sunday morning and I have just come from church which was held in a picture theatre in the camp. "Ralph Connor" was there. He is Chaplain of the C.E.F. and holds the rank of honorary major. The battalion that he came over with is near us. Today was pay day also and we drew our 10 francs each ($2.00) to keep us going for another 2 weeks or so.
For the last two days our company had been doing fatigues at night near an old that in its day has been quite a swell place. Of course we did not live in the old Baron's residence, but slept in the barns,
Lately, in fact, for the last 7 nights we have been working from about 8 o'clock until about 3 o'clock in the morning when we arrive back to our billets. We still have about 3 more nights to put in at that work before we start something else.
Another 3 graduates of the M.A.C. blew in to see us yesterday. They are now found in nearly every camp around here. We were billeted within a couple of hundred yards of the battalion that George Forder is in last week, and I did not happen to think of it while we were there or I could have seen him. I saw some other fellows I knew from the same battalion but I forgot about Geo. being with them until I got Clara's letter a few days ago. I shall hunt him up again though. Somebody was here looking for me yesterday when I was away. I think probably it was Geo.
I had my first real experience of shell fire a few nights ago. About 30 of us were pushing small cars along a miniature railway at night when Fritz started throwing iron. About 25 shells came over; one of them burst close enough to cover the three of us pushing one car, with mud from head to foot, another blew up the track about 100 yds ahead of us and another struck the track just behind us about 50 yds. The result was we could not go ahead with our loads so had to dump them and go back.
I see by one of the Regina papers that Harold Joslyn is a lieutenant. What battalion is he attached to? You have not mentioned whether Bill Shearer has landed a place yet. Francis or Geo. said that he might possibly come to England, to where his brother is.
Our huts over here are of the chicken coop variety. The roof comes down to the floor. There are 16 men to a hut and they are quite a lively bunch in our hut, all University companies men.
I am not sure but I think I saw Major Wright one day last week. As we we marching along I saw a group of officers standing outside their huts and one of them looked very much like Major Wright. I may have been mistaken for he may not have left England yet.
Before I write again I shall have been in the trenches as we go in soon.
It is funny I have not seen any Grenfell fellows here. There must be lots of them around somewhere. I do not know the battalions they are in though.
Today is a regular summer day and it is very quiet. I have hardly heard a gun so far except for a few of them firing at aeroplanes. Some days it is so different. It seems to go in spasms.
I hope seeding is going better than it was, or that it is all over by this time. It seems, hard to realize that it is almost the 1st of June.
There does not seem much to tell from here; perhaps there may be more next time. I am very sleepy these days as I cannot sleep much in the day time.
I have not received the parcel yet which you sent some time ago.
Your affectionate son
Have just had a visitor since I wrote the last few lines. It was Pat Laurent. He came in from his billets a couple of miles from here to hunt me up. He is much the same as ever only thinner and tough looking like everybody else. He is driving a transport carrying engineers supplies up to the trenches every night. His brother, who has been with him was killed about 3 days ago.
He says he had not heard from Albert since last Dec. He would like to hear from him again.