Winterbottom, Sydney Amyas

Letter
Date:
January 27, 1917
To:
Dad
From:
Sid
France...Auchel
Jan. 27, 1917

Dear Dad.

I heard that Harry Batch wrote to you all. The old beggar seldom write to us. I’ll bet his letter ended with “yours truely”.

We have had some pretty cold weather lately. There has been snow on the ground for about 3 weeks and there hasn't been the slightest thaw in that time so you see it is something like old B.C. for a time.
Our regiment (11th CMR) has been out in rest for some time. First of all we marched about ten miles and were billeted in barns. Our barn wasn't as quarter warm as yours. We however got straw and lay it on the floor making a pretty warm bed for the blankets. These billets were too cold so one morning we packed up and after a tiring march of about 12 miles on an ice covered road, we arrived here. We are in the nicest billets at present since our arrival in this "God's Country" Adrian and another fellow are billeted with a French family and actually sleep between white sheets at night. I and our platoon stretcher bearer likewise next door. Of course we would not mind staying thus for the duration but no fear of that life out here.

I received your letter of Jan.4th in which you said you were glad I had escaped from my baptism of fire. Well, old man, don't worry at home about this bullet stuff because I haven't been in a tight corner for some time or expect to either. You see, our part of the line was very quiet as compared to other more warm spots. Of course Fritz rattled a machine gun sometimes and threw a few shells and trench mortar "sausages" at us at other times but we often never hear a gun go off for 12 hours.

I received Mum's shoe packs and Helen's dandy little cake a few evenings ago. I wore the shoe packs for a 12 mile march and they were pretty comfortable.

I just received a letter which Uncle Barney wrote me on the ninth of November. In it he told me to write for anything I might need. It was a very nice kind letter indeed so will enclose it in this for you to read. You can be your bottom dollar I’ll drop the old boy a line too.

Did I tell you I met Fletcher the other day? I and Percy Spalding were walking down a French country road when we walked bang into Fletcher and two other Kamloopians..wasn’t if funny that we were all Kamloopians.

Believe me old boy once my feet hit Kamloops twenty teams of snorting fire-eating cayusis wont budge them an inch. Cuss this bally war, it is a lot of crazy foolishness anyway.

Oh by the way I wish that you would ask Keith to send me a pound tin of that sugared lump ginger the chinks sell in China town. It won't cost over forty cents and I want him to use my money. Please don't let him forget as ginger is a jake thing when one is chilled to the marrow and haven't had a wink of sleep for 24 hours. I know he won’t mind this little job. If he won't send a pound every week just tell him to look out or I'll chuck a bomb at him one day.

We have good sport trying to talk French, though I could talk their jabber easily if I lived a couple of months with them. I can easily make them savy right now.

Please tell Mom that so far the crumbs have left me severily alone although they do chew up Adrian pretty badly. It is quite sight to watch a lousy platoon "crumbling up” before going to bed They are all so darned busy and serious that they never see the funny side until afterwards.

Please ask Mom to slip in a good big hanky with every parcel as I have often gone for 3 weeks without one and it isn't nice at all.

Well old man by-by and lots of love to you all,

Your loving son, Sid

p.s. I’ll write to the others soon
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