My Dear Pearse:
Received yours of the Feb. 6th yesterday and was indeed pleased to hear from you. Campbellford is very fortunate that the Woolen Mills, Dicksons and Westons have large orders ahead of them as in many large cities factories are closed down. With these mills working overtime, conditions should be very good in Campbellford this spring and summer. If you could see this country with ruin and desolation on every side, you would indeed think that you were blessed. It will take many a year to restore this country to a state that it was before the war. On every side you can see ruined buildings, torn and knocked to pieces by artillery.
You will notice by address that we are in France. Left Salisbury a few weeks ago and arrived here the second week in February, after a very tiresome journey by boat, rail and route march. On arrival here we were billeted in a farm house, No.2 Co., 234 men and 6 officers, the officers are billeted in the farm house with the men in the outbuildings.
We were here only a few days when we were sent to the firing line and trenches. After a week at the front, and two days in the trenches, we returned to our former billets for a rest and a clean-up. We do not expect to be here very long before we are again sent up to the firing line to remain.
I said we returned to our former billets. not all, sad to relate, some have answered their last roll call, as many more poor lads will before this cruel war is ended. I could, no doubt, give you much news that would be of interest to you and your readers but in doing so I would be giving information that might be of value to our enemies, therefore I am compelled to await the day that I can write or tell you personally.
The boys from Campbellford are all well, although many have sore feet from marching. The boys' relatives or friends no doubt will be anxious at times, especially when not receiving letters regularly. They must expect delay in the mail. In conclusion will you kindly tell relatives of the boys that I will endeavor to let them know at once should anything happen to those from Campbellford. Remember me to all my friends.
Lt. W.J. DOXSEE
2nd Batt., 1st Brigade, Canadian British Expeditionary Force, France.
(Note: Shortly after this letter was written, Lieut. Doxsee was killed in action)