Winterbottom, Sydney Amyas

Letter
Date:
August 8, 1916
To:
Dad
From:
Sid
Cheriton Camp, England.
Aug.8, 1916

Dear Dad:

Thanks for your welcome letter, I need not tell you all how welcome to me any letters from home are as I suppose you understand.

None of us have been allowed down town yet. The only night we were not quarantined was the one after we arrived. Since then cases of measles have been occurring every other day. Goodness only knows when we will be allowed out. However, we are getting on well enough I suppose.

Say, Dad. I have written Uncle Barney3 a post card and a letter since arriving and have not yet receive an answer. Maybe I didn’t give him a very clear address so am just wondering if I should write him again. It seems funny he hasn’t answered as what you have told me of him he would have done so.

Adrian is a blessing these days. He has already received two parcels of delicious “good eats” which, as our grub is rather plain, have helped quite a lot. I have heard from Dug. who writes he may shortly move to Caesar’s Camp which is within sight from our camp. If he does we will have some great times.

I also heard from Harry B. who said he is leaving for France not later than the coming Friday. He says that his bunch are being issued with “Le Enfield” Gee! though I hope we will also be as these Ross Rifles, though a fine sharp shooters rifle, is not much for rough work. Besides the rifle weighs 9 ½ lbs and is a very clumsy affair. We are at present using the Ross and understand we are to shoot with it at the front. Every fellow you speak to expresses his wish for “Le Enfield” in its place. A lot of the Battalions have been to the front with the Ross. I hope we don’t.

The other day I managed to draw two new suits of underwear and a couple of flannel shirts. These with a new pair of army boots have quite replenished my somewhat worn outfit.

As we are shut in camp there is practically nothing to do. Therefore numerous gambling joints have started up a business. They are of course really our fellows.

On one game there is a square bit of cloth divided into six separate squares. The “owner” shakes up three dice whose faces are marked with the symbols of the six corresponding squares. Well you put your money on the face you think is likely to turn up. If the dice shows one face the same you are paid the amount you put on it. If the dice shows more than one face of that square you are paid the corresponding number of times what you placed on it. Well, one fellow, a kid of about eighteen years, having won about thirty pounds, placed it all on a heart. The dice on being thrown turned up three hearts, the kid won ninety pounds and completely broke the bank.

Write when you can old man, and I hope you soon get a good job.

Your loving son, Sid.
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