Well here we are in what I call some country. The hedges and roses are out in full bloom, and say, it is certainly worth seeing. We had a very fine trip and I was not sick at all. We erected two machine guns on the upper deck to welcome the German subs, but none were to be seen. The Colonel shot a porpoise, you know the fish that jumps out of the water all the time.
We also saw a number of whales when nearing the English Channel. The first thing we saw was the famous Eddystone light houses, the old and the new one. The new one is some height, is it not? The last night we were at sea, a British cruiser was torpedoed six miles from us. All hands were saved. The ship did not sink and about an hour later we passed a naval repair ship going to the rescue. We were escorted by two destroyers all that night. When the first one met us just as we were entering the channel, they gave three cheers for Canada, and we certainly did return it. Aitchison and Nicholson were here in the hospital. I heard to-day that one of them had gone home. I was in to Folketone last night and that is a few miles from Dover on the coast, and met 'Tobbie Doheny and the Hircock Brothers and several more of the 21st Battalion men. We are going over to see Charlie Henderson tomorrow. You can see the cliffs of France from Folkestone, it is only about twenty miles. We also heard some heavy guns at sea Sunday night. I do not know what it was about. Stanley Pratt was released from the hospital the day we left and he is with us. He says the Colonel got him out. There are twenty thousand men here now and more expected. We drill eight hours a day, a little bit longer than in Halifax. Say, we landed at Plymouth then went down to Devonport and docked. We saw all kinds of British dogs at sea and entering the dock yards. There were three warships and a dreadnaught on the dry dock. This place, Shornecliffe, is the main aerial base for raids on France and there are all kinds of aeroplanes sailing around here, I also saw the Silver King airship which did such effective work in one of the raids. It is sure some size.
We have some time with the English money and do not understand it yet. You seem to have a ton of lead in your pocket all the time. I heard to-day that our horses are coming tomorrow, then we will have the good times. I saw four fellows in the cavalry get thrown to-day. Half the horses are green, and buck and kick and do anything.
This is certainly one pretty country. All the Battery men were surprised to see green hedges all around the farmers' lands. I forgot to tell you that the sister ship to the one we came over on was chased by a submarine off Liverpool the next day we landed. We are to get our holidays next week and I am going to London for a day for that is all we are allowed to stay there, and then to Devonport and Tintagel and Bude. ‘Shorty' Cunningham just came in to see us. He is with a mounted bunch about three miles from all the other Battalions. I heard that French band again that I was talking about. They have a concert in Hythe on Sunday. That is half way between here and Folkestone. I hope you are all well.
GUNNER HARRY SKITCH
2nd Heavy Battery, C.O.E.F., 2nd Contingent, Army Post Office, London, England.